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What Is Relocation Stress Syndrome and How Can You Prevent It?

By Jennifer Thompson, 9:00 am on

Moving can be stressful for anyone, but it’s especially difficult for seniors. It’s important for Parkinson’s, dementia, and Alzheimer’s caregivers in Nashville, TN, to recognize how challenging it is for seniors who are in the process of moving to nursing homes or retirement villages so that they know how to help ease them through the process.

How Relocation Stress Syndrome Affects Seniors

The trauma a senior experiences due to a move is called relocation stress syndrome, which can cause symptoms before, during and many months after a move. They may experience emotional symptoms including depression, anxiety, and agitation. You might also notice symptoms such as pain, rapid heartbeat and frequent falling. Seniors may also exhibit strange behavior such as screaming or starting arguments. These symptoms are often magnified if they require Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, or dementia care in Nashville, TN.

If a family caregiver doesn’t address these symptoms, they can become so severe that a senior may even experience deterioration of mental and physical functioning. They could run away from their new home and get lost or hurt. In extreme cases, their behavior can escalate to the point that the safety of a caregiver can be at risk.

How to Prevent Relocation Stress Syndrome

Caregivers can prevent seniors from being traumatized after a move by involving them in the process. If a senior has challenges, slow the moving process down until he or she can actively participate in the move. For seniors who are incapable of making big decisions concerning a move, family caregivers should encourage their loved ones to make smaller decisions to make them more comfortable.

If it’s practical, let your loved one visit his or her new home or facility before moving in. Give your loved one time to get acquainted with any new caregivers or neighbors. Doing this will greatly alleviate transfer trauma to a certain degree. Also, seniors won’t have as many adjustment issues if they learn to love their new home and establish a quality relationship with their caregivers before they move.

You might also consider bringing help to your loved one rather than moving him or her to a care facility. Nashville, TN, Home Care Assistance is a reliable home care agency that provides numerous services for seniors in need of compassionate care in the comfort of home. We create customized care schedules to address your loved one’s unique needs without compromising his or her privacy and independence. Schedule a free consultation today by calling (615) 656-4999 to learn more about our reliable in-home care.