Every year, many northern residents move south for the winter. These people – known as snowbirds – are usually elderly individuals who are retired. By moving south, they don’t have to deal with the cold temperatures, snow, ice, and unsafe environment that the northern winter presents. Such conditions are particularly hazardous for seniors with health concerns, so it’s understandable for them to go someone warmer with less potential for hazards.
However, moving south for the winter isn’t simple. Before leaving, there are many things to take care of regarding your health and your home.
If you’re a snowbird who is preparing for your move south, be sure to keep the following tips in mind.
Things to Do Before Going South
Before you make your annual move south, it is important that you go see your doctor. During this visit, you need to make sure that you have enough refills for regular medications to last you throughout the winter. Following that, you will need to contact your pharmacist to have your prescriptions transferred to a nearby pharmacy wherever you are moving.
The doctor’s visit also acts as a checkup to make sure you’re healthy enough to move. If not, you can prep yourself for the move by getting the proper care and medication.
Check Your Healthcare Coverage
When you move to a different state, your health insurance doesn’t always transfer. Some HMO plans limit your insurance coverage to certain doctors and hospitals in your home state. That said, you will need to check whether your health insurance coverage is flexible and accommodates your move to another state.
If you need to transition your healthcare coverage, it is recommended that you stay within your current provider’s network.
Set Up Care Services
If you have a caregiver at home, then you will likely need one while living at your southern home, too. Whether you use elderly care, in-home care, or senior care services, you should not risk going without care in your southern residence. Look into care services that are located wherever you are headed to. Send a nurse’s or doctor’s assessment to potential caregivers you’ve chosen and determine who the best fit is for you.
Prepare Your Home
Although you will be gone for an extended period of time, you do not want it to appear as though that is the case. It is important to make it look like someone is still living at your home to limit the potential for crime and vandalism. To do this, install timers for your home’s interior and exterior lights. Arrange for your newspapers and mail to be picked up if you aren’t going to have them forwarded. Also, have someone clear the snow from your property.
You should also get your house checked to make sure it can survive through the winter, so that you won’t have issues upon your return in the spring.
To save money, suspend your home’s phone, cable, and internet services but only if they don’t interfere with your home security system. You will especially want the home monitoring system to be active while you’re away so you can ensure its safety and have a way to track it from afar.
Items to Bring
- Medication: Bring all of your necessary medications with you when you make your trip. It is recommended that your medications are all organized and categorized correctly using a pill organizer to make things easier.
- Health equipment: Make sure you have any essential health equipment to ensure you maintain your health and wellbeing while in the south. Some examples of such include hearing aids, wheelchairs, canes, walkers, blood pressure monitors, blood sugar monitors, and nebulizers.
- Emergency equipment: While you may be hoping for a relaxing time while in the warm weather, you need to be prepared for an emergency in case one arises. Bring defibrillators and epi-pens if necessary in addition to first-aid kits and other emergency alert equipment.
- Important documents: Aside from having your health insurance cards, keep on hand different lists of important information: medications and dosages, allergies, doctors and their contact information.
If you are a snowbird who is preparing to head south for the winter, it is important that you make use of the aforementioned tips to ensure a seamless move and a quality winter. Getting care services is especially essential; you need to maintain your health and wellbeing even in the warmth of the south, and a caregiver can help with that. Assisting Hands Home Care – Broward County, FL offers senior care services in Hollywood, FL and the nearby towns in west Broward County, FL. With our senior care services, we will create a care plan customized to meet each elderly individual’s needs.