Moving Checklist for Caregivers

by Kaye Swain

Here is a question and a checklist that is very important for all, but especially important if you are assisting an elderly parent in a move and will be leaving them alone when you are finished.

Is everything available, turned on, and working? We arranged for all utilities to be turned on Wednesday and we moved in on Friday. Between Wednesday and Friday we made several trips back and forth with boxes, did a lot of unpacking, and made sure the electricity, water, and TV were all working fine. Friday night came. Exhausted, we prepared our beds, turned on the the hot water to make some relaxing herbal tea and NOTHING! Oh, the water ran fine. Cold! But fine. Somehow we both missed the fact that there was no hot water. Friday night after the office and utility company had both closed is not a fun time to discover this!

It was definitely a frustrating moment but I’m used to flexing. I called and left a message for the apartment staff, warned mom there would be no shower in the morning and prayed a lot that we could get it turned on Saturday. However, if the same thing happened to an older senior, already exhausted from moving and feeling a bit lonely, it would be a much more difficult situation to handle. Do be sure to check every single thing before leaving, including the fuse box. Because that’s what turned out to be the culprit. Once I flipped the switch for the hot water heater, the problem was solved. Shortly thereafter we had plenty of hot water. Having never had an all-electric home before, this was a complete surprise to me!

Here are some of the vital things to check on:

  1. Hot water
  2. Lights in every room (We had to buy lamps for the bedrooms as there were no overhead lights.)
  3. Electricity working in every room
  4. Gas working in every room
  5. Telephone
  6. TV
  7. Internet
  8. Computer
  9. Deadbolts on every door (We noticed the patio door did not have a deadbolt. I made a call to the apartment managers and they wonderfully had one installed a day or so later.)
  10. Windows all in working order and easy to open and shut
  11. Smoke Alarms (At the very least, test the batteries. It might even be worth it to install new batteries so you know how long they should last.)
  12. Dishwasher
  13. Washer / Dryer (be sure to check on whether you need to purchase a fabric softener dispenser if they need one.)
  14. Garbage disposal
  15. All wires, cords, connectors, etc. present and hooked up
  16. Any repairs needed

Now it’s your turn. What would you add to this list?

(I apologize for no new article yesterday due to technical glitches from the move. That’s what led to number 15 on the above list :) )

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