Key Moving Tips for People with Disabilities

Key Moving Tips for People with Disabilities

Moving can be difficult under any circumstances. For people with disabilities, there can be unique challenges. Here are some tips for managing the process and making a smooth transition.

Your perfect place. Finding a home that is accessible may be particularly tough. As NPR points out, while the country is successfully embracing accessible public areas, housing is a decidedly different story. Most people with accessibility issues require modifications, although with the trend toward aging in place design, accessibility is becoming more commonplace. Aging in place embraces an aesthetically appealing structure that supports people throughout their senior years. This strategy naturally encompasses some of the modifications people with disabilities might require, so keep that in mind when searching through potential properties. One idea is to make a list of the features you need, and also note the ones you would be willing to add later.   Some aging in place design concepts which you might find desirable are as follows:

* Fully accessible pathway to the home’s entrance, such as a smooth, broad walkway or ramp.
* A covered, no-step entry to the home.
* One level living space on the ground floor, including a bedroom, kitchen and bathroom.
* Lever-style faucet handles throughout the home.
* Non-slip flooring throughout the home.
* Doorways throughout the home which measure a minimum of three feet wide.
* Smooth thresholds throughout the home.
* Kitchen counters of varied heights which allow seated work.
* Easy to read appliances.
* Front loading clothes washer and dryer.
* Easy to read and programmable thermostat.
* Pull-down shelving.
* Kitchen shelving opposite or adjacent to appliances to ease food transfer.
* Grab bars in the bathroom and shower area.
* A shower with curbless entry and a seat for washing.
* Wall-mounted sink accessible from a seated position and with protection from hot pipes.
* Rocker light switches.
* Outlets and switches at an accessible height.

One of the other challenges that comes with moving is packing and unpacking. Here are some thoughts for organizing this part of your transition:

Pack properly. Set aside items you’ll need that first night. Some experts suggest packing them in a clear container so you can easily find what you need quickly - after all, moving is exhausting, and anywhere you can make the process more efficient is a help. Include items like packing tape, box cutters, cleaning supplies, toilet paper, and your phone charger. Also, pack a tote bag with a change of clothes, toiletries, and some linens for the first night. When packing fragile items, put them inside clothing and linens to save space. Label your boxes clearly with contents and the room designation. And don’t forget to clearly mark the ones with fragile contents!

Moving day. Before your moving day, everything should be packed and ready. Don’t require friends or family to do it for you the day of the move; if you need help, make arrangements with them ahead of time. You may wish to hire a moving service to handle packing and moving. Movers save the heavy labor and can manage items of all shapes and sizes. Some services will do virtually all the packing and unpacking for you.

Who do I hire? Angie’s List recommends checking references before you hire a moving company, since some movers are fly-by-night. Find a company that is ProMover certified, which means they meet standards set by the American Moving & Storage Association. Then, get a written estimate and schedule your move well in advance. Note that there are two kinds of estimates movers provide, binding and nonbinding. In a binding estimate, all the services and charges are spelled out in advance. In a non-binding estimate, your costs will be based on the final weight and services of the move, as well as any tariffs incurred.

Smooth transition. Moving can be challenging, especially if you’re someone with a disability. With some thoughtful strategies, you can find a great home and the move will go smoothly. You’ll be in the perfect place and settled in successfully!

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