Call Now to Speak with a Care Manager Speak with a Care Manager Now: (719) 822-1229

How Family Caregivers Can Understand and Prevent Relocation Stress Syndrome

By Mark Silvanic, 9:00 am on

Also known as “moving blues” or “transfer trauma,” Relocation Stress Syndrome (RSS) is defined as the psychosocial and physiological distress that individuals experience when moving from one location to another. Although moving can be nerve racking for people of any age, Stress Relocation Syndrome primarily affects the elderly population. Here is how Parkinson’s, dementia, and Alzheimer’s caregivers in Colorado Springs, CO, can better understand and prevent RSS.

Relocation Stress Syndrome Symptoms

The five main symptoms of RSS are:

  • Anxiety
  • Confusion or disorientation
  • Dependency
  • Depression
  • Withdrawal

Additionally, when faced with having to leave a primary residence, seniors might also experience hopelessness, loneliness, sleep disturbances, stress and an excessive need for reassurance. The psychological and physical trauma that occurs often causes visible external symptoms, which include:

  • A higher incidence of falls
  • Self neglect including forgetting medications, appetite loss or insufficient personal hygiene
  • Rapid weight loss
  • Anti-social behavior displayed as avoiding social situations or self-imposed isolation

RSS Preventative Measures

Prior to the move, involve friends, family, and caregivers in the planning process. In this way, everyone can monitor your elderly loved one when and if symptoms of RSS arise. Once the senior exhibits signs of stress, slow the process to ease the anxiety and tension.

Making the new environment as much like home as possible also helps. Choose similar paint colors, place beloved objects in the same locations and hang photographs in similar configurations. Pay attention to the details as your loved one will notice any changes.

Losing the ability to make choices and act independently can also trigger symptoms. Allow seniors the freedom to be involved in as much of the decision-making process as possible. Let them decide what items are essential keepsakes and which might be discarded.

When faced with the prospect of moving, seniors often feel a tremendous sense of loss. Loss may occur from being unfamiliar with a new room or home layout. In order to ease this sense of loss, incorporate familiar touches of home. Have your loved one watch the same TV shows or listen to familiar songs. Spritz his or her signature scent around the room to make it smell more familiar. Little sensory details can make all the difference.

You can even avoid Relocation Stress Syndrome altogether by hiring a trusted home care agency in Colorado Springs, CO. Home Care Assistance provides comprehensive live-in and hourly home care that gives seniors all they help they require without having to leave their homes. We customize care schedules based on your loved one’s unique requirements to ensure his or her needs are met, including prescription pick-ups, medication reminders, safety monitoring, personal care assistance, and more. Let us help your loved one age in place. Call (719) 822-1229 today and schedule a complimentary in-home consultation.