Moving Special People

Sometimes, the decision to move means helping others make decisions, or making decisions on their behalf.

Children can participate in the decision to move, but they typically don’t make the decision. Elderly relatives, too, may need to be active in the decision but not able to make it. Or they are quite capable of making the decision, but not executing it alone. People with disabilities may be willing, but not physically able, to make the move without help. Each of these situations means more decisions.

You can help. By being a smart mover you can help others with the important decisions in moving. You can offer ideas, present options, perform tasks, and make contacts. You can help others feel in control of their lives while maintaining their self-dignity.

Thousands of people live nearly normal lives despite disabilities. And many of them are on the move. Some are limited in what they can physically do during a move. Others have mental or emotional challenges. Nearly all with disabilities can participate in the moving process. Talk early in the decision process with social workers, therapists, doctors, or other professionals who are involved in care.

If you’re using a moving service, let them know of the special needs that must be considered. Many movers are familiar with the needs of the disabled and will be able to help plan a move that requires the least disturbance and discomfort for the disabled person. They can better do their job without obstructing wheelchair access or disrupting important routines. They can also help you make sure that special equipment is moved and set up with the least hassle.

Your decision to move with a disabled person should also include seeking services at your new location. Professionals and support groups can help you get settled and make the transition easier for the disabled person.

Moving Resources

You can find more about the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) on the Internet at

Many of today’s families are multi-generational. Mom and/or dad live in the family home or nearby. Moving the family means moving elderly members as well.

If the elderly are part of your moving decision, help them participate in that decision—or let them make that decision on their own. Bodies and minds don’t always mature at the same time. Nor do they decline cooperatively. An 80-year old person with many physical limitations may have a sharp mind that can make important decisions as well or better than younger folks. Life is dignity.

For more information on moving with the elderly, contact one of the following organizations:

American Association of Retired Persons
1909 K St.
Washington, D.C. 20049
tel. (202) 872-4700

National Council on Aging
600 Maryland Ave., SW
Washington, D.C. 20024
tel. (202) 479-1200

Should a pregnant woman move during the third trimester or wait until after the baby is born? That, of course, is a question for the doctor. However, moderate moves can be made quite late in the pregnancy without problems as long as professional advice is followed about stress, lifting, and travel. In most case, the decision is a personal preference. Which of these two tasks do I want to complete first: birth or moving? Avoid doing them simultaneously!

 Making Good Decisions