This March 12, 2010 New York Times article, Deciding on Care for Elderly Parents in Declining Health, made me think about the process my husband and I experienced with his mother following a stroke. This is the third of several postings describing our journey. Read Part I of Moving Mother. Read Part II.
Getting Started — the Logistics of Mother’s Move
When my husband’s mother agreed to move from South Carolina, 600 miles north to live with us we found, as do all adult children, that a huge number of decisions were required. These decisions could not be made on the spot, thought Mother was ready to pack up and leave right then. We knew we would need to return home and manage many of the decisions long-distance, though we expected to make several more trips to Hilton Head before her move.
Before we left for home, my husband collected official papers he would need. Since he had gradually taken over much of the bill paying, taxes, and other official duties, most of the paperwork was in order, but there were plenty of other official documents to organize. We put these in the car to take home.
On the drive home we took turns adding to this long list of tasks to be accomplished.
- Choosing a date for the move
- Selling the condo
- Renting and committing to a small, three-room apartment at Chesterbrook Residences and measuring the square footage
- Figuring out what to keep, what to sell, and what to give away
- Checking with our daughter to see what she might want, once mother made her choices
- Calling movers to get estimates
- Packing (in this case we could not rely on movers to do it)
- Collecting medical records
- Choosing a doctor for Mother to use after the move
- Changing addresses and contact information (as one does with any move) with friends, family bank accounts, pensions, magazines, and Social Security. (In this case many of these required power of attorney documents.)
We decided to concentrate on choosing a date, selling the condo, measuring the spaces in her new apartment, and calling movers. We also realized that we could need to go down to South Caroling every two to three weeks in order to pack and make various arrangements on that end and pack up with one very long weekend at the end. We gave ourselves six weeks.