COVID has gotten so many family plans, especially seniors, under control. Some who previously lived in Independent, Assisted Living, or Memory Care have moved in with adult children so they can continue to see them and / or to avoid exposure to coronavirus. Others have moved across state lines to help adult children care for young grandchildren or to help themselves care for a declining spouse. Indeed, according to a recent one Pew pollOne in twenty Americans moved last year because of the coronavirus outbreak. Whatever the reason for the move, there are some special considerations for seniors. To make moving less daunting, here is a list of tasks and special considerations for the extended family to use.
- Change your address at the United States Post Office.
Remember that both spouses must file a change of address here: https://moversguide.usps.com/mgo/disclaimer
- Apply for an NC driver’s license and register and name your vehicle.
If you have a valid outside of the state driver’s license and want to continue driving legally, apply for an NC driver’s license within 60 days of establishing permanent residence in the state.
With your application you must bring proof of identity, residence and social security. You have to pass the visual, written and road sign tests. Once you pass, you will be given a temporary driving license. Your North Carolina permanent driver’s license should arrive in the mail within 20 days. You can be exempt from the written tests and the road tests when you hand in your valid foreign license.
You must have an NC driver’s license before you can register your vehicle in the state.
- Notify the Internal Revenue Service.
You can print out the form you want Here, but it has to be sent in. Check the second page of the printout to see where to send it. If you live in North Carolina, the address is: Kansas City Department of the Internal Revenue Service, MO 64999-0023
- Update your address with Medicare and Social Security.
You can change your address online using an online My Social Security account. Go to the “My Profile” tab My social security. This will give you a new Medicare service area and in many cases will require you to change your Medicare plan, your prescription medication plan, and / or your Medicare supplement plan. If you cannot change your address online, you can call 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778) Monday through Friday, 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. or contact your local social security office.
For unbiased guidance on Medicare plans, the federal government is providing support to local volunteers through the Senior Insurance Information Program, which you can find out about or contact Here.
- Change your bank address.
Generally, banks require you to do this in person. Bring photo ID. It is a good idea to order new checks with your new address at the same time.
- Update your address for all running services and new utilities. Consider hiring an adult child to manage all bills or setting up autodraft. As people age, many people become more overwhelmed when they keep up with the bills. This can include:
– Additional health insurance
– Long-term health insurance
– car insurance
– credit cards
– Internet service
– Subscriptions (newspapers, magazines, etc.)
- Move your recipes.
You will be asked to fill out a form at the new pharmacy that you can use to request the transfer of your current medication from your old pharmacy. Make sure you bring your driver’s license, new Medicare card, and an extra medical insurance card.
- Transfer your care to a new doctor or geriatrician if one is available in your area.
You need to find a practice that will accept new Medicare patients (or whatever your primary health insurance plan is). Once you’ve decided on one, ask about the process of transferring medical records and make an appointment. In this area, it appeared to take four to six weeks for both Duke and UNC geriatrics to be called. Waiting for your first appointment with a specialist you see will likely take a lot longer.
To make the process easier, some families are bringing in senior move managers who will handle much of the relocation logistics. Whatever your family does, you know it will be exhausting. There is no getting around this simple fact. Hopefully, if the move brings the families closer together geographically, then hopefully some of the other stresses of the distance will go away. Having a family close by is indeed useful as the needs grow – especially during a global pandemic.