How to Handle Relocation Stress Syndrome with a Loved One

Posted on: April 29th, 2018 by bigdcreative

Changing up a daily routine in your life can trigger certain stressors. It can be hard enough to have to adjust to a new diet in your life – but imagine having to relocate from your home as a senior.

The move from regular routine to retirement-community life can be quite jarring for some and can produce what medical professionals are diagnosing as Relocation Stress Syndrome (RSS).

Although RSS is a common hurdle that families face during the process, the move to the right retirement community can be an exciting experience for your loved one. It is important that you are able to understand that overwhelming emotions can occur and how you can best help manage them.

What Are the Symptoms of Relocation Stress Syndrome (RSS)?

If you suspect that your loved one is experiencing this syndrome before, during, or directly after a move or life-changing event, be on the lookout for signs of:

  • Loneliness
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Bursts of Anger
  • Apprehension
  • Increased Confusion

Seniors experiencing Relocation Stress Syndrome (RSS) may begin to display symptoms of stress before, during, or directly after a move. Your loved one may not be openly speaking out about their stress, so it is important that you can pinpoint some of the telling signs surrounding RSS.

3 Ways to Prevent RSS When Moving to a Retirement Community

On the surface, RSS seems like a daunting issue and can be, unless you know some of the best ways to prevent this reaction during the move to a retirement home.

1. Tour The Community’s Facilities

One great way to help alleviate any apprehension during a move to a community is to involve your loved one in the decision making. If a retirement community is a necessity for their safety, take them around to numerous communities in your area and let them socialize and participate in activities.

2. Recreate Their Old Living Environment

If possible, try to recreate their old living environment in their new home. The staff at the community will already be taking the necessary steps to ensure your loved one is comfortable. This will open up the time for you to make their new home aesthetically pleasing because only you will know your loved one best.

3. Acknowledge Your Loved One’s Feelings

Remember to let them feel whatever they need to feel. This can be anxious or excited; no feeling is a wrong feeling and if you validate that their feelings matter to you, they may be able to navigate past this moment in their life. By way of acknowledging their fears and feelings, reassure them that this will be a learning experience for everyone involved. Instead of lying and telling them what you think they want to hear, respect your loved one’s feelings and help them keep an open mind.

What to Avoid if Your Loved One Has Relocation Stress Syndrome

If your loved one has RSS, remember that this is temporary and should fade away in a matter of months. Be patient and do not move them again because of this syndrome. Your loved one will need some time to adjust to their new home. Moving them to a new assisted living community so directly will only start the process over and create more grief for your loved one.

Make Your Loved One Feel at Home at Holly Hall

If your family is going through a transition with a loved on to an assisted living or retirement community, Holly Hall is here to help ease the tension involved with such a change. Get in touch with us today to schedule a visit to our community and let us answer any questions that you or your loved one may have about living in a Christian retirement community.