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Take care of medical needs before moving

Medical needs travel with you wherever you go, so put your health first and be sure to look into these important items before you move.

When you move, you have the advantage of leaving some unwanted things behind. Those pesky neighbors who let their barking dog out before dawn? History. The crack in the sidewalk that you always trip over? Not anymore.

Unfortunately, certain irritations will travel with you wherever you go. Medical needs are something you'll have to think about in your new home, and hopefully you've started thinking about finding a new physician, whether at the recommendation of your current doctor or a trusted friend. However, there are other aspects of your physical well-being you should tend to before moving as well.

Transferring medical records

You'll be a new face to the doctor you've selected in your updated location, but you don't want everything about yourself to be a mystery. Save the allure for making friends - your physician should have a complete record of your medical history. Before moving, contact your current provider and ask them to send an electronic transfer of your records, including vaccinations, to your new doctor. Alternately, it's always possible to pick up a hard copy ahead of time and take it with you. It's not a bad idea to have a record for your own personal reference as well.

Locating specialists

If your medical needs only require a general physician for regular checkups, your transition may be relatively straightforward. However, you might have need for a specialist, adding to the list of professionals you'll want to seek out in your new hometown. Your procedure for finding specific caregivers can be more complicated, depending on the nature of the physician. If your current doctor doesn't have any recommendations, you may want to consult a national board or call the closest hospital for their suggestions. After you move, scheduling an introductory appointment can help you determine right away whether you and the new specialist are a good match.

Finding a pharmacy

It's great to have a doctor nearby, but that's not the only medical-related asset you're going to need. If your new physician doesn't do in-office prescriptions, it will be necessary to find a pharmacy that can handle that responsibility. Hunting down this amenity should be as easy as doing an online search, but you can also check with your new neighbors as a means of breaking the ice. It's probably best to save discussions of your personal medical needs for later in the friendship, though.

Updating prescriptions

Before you leave, make a list of any prescription medications that you take, and be sure that they're forwarded to your new doctor. If you have pressing medical needs that may require emergency attention, however, you're going to want to fill any prescriptions before you go. Keep medications separate from the rest of the items that you're packing, so that they're within easy access when you need them. You might even want them to be in your overnight bag, or labeled with special care to making them highly visible. If prescriptions are just about to run out and do not require seeing a specialist, you may want to make an appointment with your current general practitioner.

Stocking up on must-haves

In addition to making an easy-access package for your necessary medications, it's not a bad idea to stock up on personal care items that you think might be scarce in your new hometown. If there's a locally-made shampoo that you swear by, now's the time to buy bottles in bulk. It's easier to come up with similar items if you start making note a few months in advance - that way, you're less likely to forget something after your move.

No matter what your health concerns or needs may be, addressing them before a move will help prevent stress and any last-minute emergencies.

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