seniorIf most of us had our way, we would “age in place,” living our later years in the comfort of our own home.

Unfortunately, our own home is not so comfortable once our health needs reach the point where getting the level of care we need simply isn’t possible. The acceptance of the fact that it’s time to reside in an environment where physical, mental and emotional needs can be met is a stressful time for our elderly loved ones.

Relocation Stress Syndrome (RSS) – sometimes called Transfer Trauma – is a diagnosis one may receive when they experience medical and/or psychological reactions from physically moving into a new environment.

Embassy Healthcare understands that this can be a stressful time for our loved ones, so we offer the following tips to help:

How to Prevent Relocation Stress Syndrome

  1. Hospitals moving a senior to a nursing facility will often have an advocate to ease the transition. Utilize this resource. 
  2. Involve your loved one to have a say in the matter as much as possible. If they insist on returning home and it’s feasible, let them give it an attempt. If that isn’t a realistic option, involve them in the selection of a facility. 
  3. Acknowledge and validate their fears. Explain to them you are going to be at their side as they adjust to their new environment. Allow them to feel whatever emotions they may be experiencing and support them as they get accustomed to the concept.
  4. Try to make their new home feel like their old one. Bring personal items from home to make them as comfortable as possible in their new space. 

What to Avoid

In some cases, it may take 3-6 months for the senior to get used to their new surroundings. It’s important to not move your loved one again during this time, as that can simply add to the trauma they’re experiencing. If they are still not adjusting after six months, incorporate the help of their family physician to provide further assistance.

For more information on Embassy Healthcare’s services and locations, call us at 888-975-1379 or contact us online.