Relocation Stress

Have you heard of Relocation Stress Syndrome (RSS)? Sometimes it is known as transfer trauma, and it can be caused by moving… especially if the person moving is a senior.

Symptoms of RSS include:

  • Sleep disturbances
  • Exhaustion
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Grief
  • Disorientation

In seniors with dementia, cognitive impairment and poor physical health, these symptoms can be worse.

So what can we do to reduce RSS?

  • Involve the senior in the process
  • Honor preferences
  • Pay attention to daily routines
  • Safeguard personal possessions
  • Make the new home resemble the old home

Sometimes, families tend to make decisions for their elderly loved ones, focusing on the details of the move rather than the person who will be moving.

Studies have shown that when a senior is involved in the process and decision and has an opportunity to voice opinions and concerns, he/she is able to maintain a sense of control, which makes them feel more comfortable with the final decision.

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