Understanding and Preventing Relocation Stress Syndrome

By Raz Silberman, 9:00 am on

In the past twenty years, healthcare professionals have become aware of relocation stress syndrome (RSS). It is also referred to as transfer trauma and it is defined as a unique set of physical and mental issues that can occur after moving to a new place. It is becoming more and more common as many aging seniors leave the homes they lived in for years and move to assisted living facilities, retirement communities, and nursing homes. Though RSS can occur among people of all ages, seniors tend to experience more severe cases of this condition.

Why Does RSS Happen?

Even if a senior has chosen to move voluntarily and is happy with his or her decision to relocate, it can still be an extremely stressful time. It can happen to anyone who is moved from one environment to another, but it most often develops after a senior leaves a home that they spent many years in. This is because people tend to grow attached to familiar surroundings and are more wary of new and unfamiliar places, regardless of whether or not they choose to move.

What Are the Signs of RSS?

Milder cases of RSS can manifest as sleep disturbances, nervousness, or confusion. However, this can gradually turn into anxiety, severe depression, fatigue, and insomnia. Some seniors begin to quit cleaning themselves or eating and they may also develop sudden changes in personality or mood. For seniors who require Alzheimer’s or dementia care in Plano, RSS symptoms may be particularly severe. 

How Can You Prevent or Ease RSS?

RSS may not be completely preventable, but there are steps that Plano senior care providers can take to ease the severity. Involving the senior in the moving and planning process and listening to any concerns he or she has can help ease anxiety. You might also help your loved one maintain old routines and place his or her possessions in similar locations as the previous residence. Giving a senior the opportunity to visit the new home before the move can also gradually help him or her acclimate to the transfer.

You could help your loved one avoid RSS altogether by hiring a trusted home care provider like Home Care Assistance of Plano. Our highly trained and reliable caregivers bring assistance straight to your loved one’s home no matter where he or she resides. We even customize care plans based on what your loved one needs, whether that means housekeeping and laundry or meal preparation and medication reminders. Our goal is to help your loved one age in place in the comfort of home while boosting physical, emotional, and mental wellbeing. Call us today at (214) 586-0120 to learn more about our services and schedule a free consultation.