If you’re moving house and you or someone in your family has a disability, there are a few extra things you need to think about. Here’s our guide…
It’s essential to plan ahead in order to secure the help and support you will need before, during and after your house move.
You should allow plenty of time for dealing with all aspects of the move, from sorting through and packing up your belongings, to contacting healthcare providers, arranging for any adaptations, dealing with children and pets on moving day, and so on. Think about those areas where you may need additional assistance.
Putting together a moving plan and a moving day checklist can be an invaluable way of helping you to manage and remember all those important tasks, and keep track of everything you need to do – and there’s a certain satisfaction in ticking things off the list as you complete them!
Find out about financial support
If you need to make adaptations to your new home, you could be eligible for a Disabled Facilities Grant from the local council. This might cover such things as widening doorways, installing ramps and stairlifts, handrails and banisters, building or adapting bathrooms and bedrooms, adapted heating and lighting controls, and improving access to the garden.
An occupational therapist will conduct an assessment of the property and make any appropriate recommendations. The grant is means tested for adults, but not for disabled children under 19.
If you are disabled and on a low income, you may also be entitled to reduced rent and/or council tax. To find out more about these and any other available grants and concessions, contact the local authority in your new area.
Inform healthcare and support services
You should contact your local health authority and other support services in good time. If you’re already in receipt of healthcare and support services and any physical equipment or adaptations, you will need to arrange for similar support in your new home.
Remember that different local authorities operate differently. Some physical aids and equipment may need to be returned when you move, and your needs may be reassessed by your new authority, so it’s important to get in contact with the relevant professionals in order to receive continuity of care – the sooner you can do this, the better.
If you have a Blue Badge for parking, there’s no need to apply for a new one when you move house. However, if you’re in receipt of disability-related state benefits don’t forget to inform your local government office of your change of address.
Create a support network
Preparing to move house can be a stressful and exhausting experience at times. If you or a family member have additional requirements, it’s even more important to make sure you have help at hand from friends and family when you need it.
This might include practical, physical or emotional support – from helping you to sort through your possessions, dealing with healthcare issues, helping to explain the move to the disabled person, assisting you on moving day, and helping you to get settled in your new home.
Try to build in some additional time and space to rest and relax, and to allow you and your family members to adjust to the changes.
Talk to your removal company
Your removal team will play a crucial role in helping to ensure that your move runs according to plan. So it’s important to choose a reliable, efficient and established team who are sensitive to your individual needs and will help you to get installed at your new address with a minimum of fuss.
An experienced removals company, such as a Master Remover, will be fully appraised of your moving plan and will be able to assist you at every step of the move – including offering a full packing and unpacking service should you require it, helping to save time and reduce the hassle.
Prepare your children
Children can sometimes feel anxious about moving house, and if you’re moving with a disabled child they may need extra time and support to help them to deal with the change.
You should look to offer reassurance wherever possible. Be prepared talk to your child about the move, or show them a plan or some pictures of their new home. If you can, try to take some time out together, away from the planning and upheaval, and do something they enjoy.
On moving day, seek out a quiet corner away from the noise and activity. Set aside a box with some of their favourite things, including some toys, a teddy bear or blanket for comfort, any special plates or cups, some snacks and a favourite book. If your journey is going to be a long one, be prepared to make some extra stops on the way.
See also our guide to moving house with children.
Consider your ‘moving day essentials’
If you need prescription medication or specialist equipment, it’s essential to keep them close to hand.
We always recommend putting together a ‘moving day essentials’ box to travel with you on your move, and if you have additional requirements this should include any medication, adapted cutlery or other aids, as well as your mobile phone and a list of key contact numbers (and not forgetting the all-important kettle, mugs and teabags!)
If you are transporting any medical equipment on the van, talk to your removal company and make sure it will be available to you when you arrive at the other end.
Getting established in your new home
When you arrive at your new house, you should arrange for the beds to be made up, and for any medical aids and equipment to be installed in their appropriate places as a priority.
Remember, it can take time to adjust to change, particularly for children, but establishing a new daily routine as soon as possible can help significantly. Once you’re ready, you can arrange to meet with your neighbours and investigate the local amenities, to help you and your family to settle in to your new home.
If you’re looking to move house, Master Removers will be there to take care of all the hard work for you, and make sure that your move runs as smoothly as possible. Contact us today.