Looking for a new home abroad? Taking care of your family’s health during the move is a priority.
Moving home is endlessly stressful. Some sources indicate that it is at least as stressful as a divorce, a breakup, or other life traumas. When you decide to compound that trauma by moving abroad, you are entering into new levels of stress. You are in the stress-outer-limits.
You are pushing the boundaries of the things you have done before. The payoff could be amazing, or it could see you moving back home. Either way, the point is that you tried. If your family return happy and healthy, you never truly fail.
Here is how to keep them healthy while all this life changing goes on.
Protecting Your Family While You Move Abroad Starts with Planning
If you want to protect your family while they move abroad, the key is in the planning. Those early stages are a vital step in assessing whether its feasible for you and your family to live abroad. For example, if you have a child or relative with an ongoing medical condition, can you even move? Checking if their prescription medications are available in another country is just one of the many key issues of protecting your family from health problems while you are emigrating. Here are a few more.
Step 1 – Forward Planning
Planning to move is fine, but plan to move from a healthcare angel. Can you move? Do your health conditions permit you to live in this new country? Are you close enough to a hospital? Do you need a carer or assistance within your home? All of these can impact your ability to move abroad full time.
Step 2 – Consider Mental Health
Mental health is as much a part of your wellbeing as your physical health. You should plan to take care of your family’s mental health as best as you can while you move. It might be a good idea to ask the children’s school if they have a counsellor on staff they could speak with. Kids are resilient and they will adapt to your new country eventually. At first, they will feel like their whole world is changing. In a way, it is.
Plan to engage in mindfulness and self-care on the run up to your departure. Keep checking in as a family and talk about what you are feeling. Continue this practice when you move, and your children will come to you when they are feeling homesick or lost in their new location.
Step 3 – Researching Healthcare
The second stage is to find out what the healthcare system in your new country is like. Learn about what you need to do to get yourself into the healthcare system. Is it even possible? Some countries require you to be in gainful employment to receive healthcare treatment on the national system. You may need to pay just like you would for private healthcare.
If there is any doubt in your mind over whether you become covered by healthcare in your new country or not, you should resolve this immediately. You can use this site to compare international health insurance for the best deal on private insurance. If you must go private anyway, you may as well make sure you get the best rates and good cover.
Step 4 – Prescriptions and Medical Equipment
When it comes to immediately before the international move, you should plan what medications and equipment you need. Everything from a new prescription to a medical alert bracelet must be in place before you move. Plan to have a few weeks’ worth of medicine spare so that you have time to locate a new doctor in your chosen country.
You should make sure your medicine won’t run out and that your equipment travels with you. If there are things that might break on the journey, plan for backups. You should also research where you could buy new medical equipment in your destination country in case you need it.
Stage 5 – During the Move
The main thing to remember during the move is that you will work hard all day. The whole family will be exhausted. Pack your medicines and medical equipment last so that you can keep track of it.
After the Move
After you arrive, keep checking in with each other about your mental health and wellbeing. When you get there, find a doctor and locate the nearest hospitals if you haven’t already. Find out about the system for making appointments or for visiting the doctor or dentist before you need them. This will help you in times of stress.
A final note on staying healthy: mental wellbeing isn’t always related to physical health. Loneliness and isolation are two leading causes of depression, and you are moving to a place where you will be isolating your entire family. Keep checking in. It will set you in good steed to tackle those tricky teenage years.