The team at American House Senior Living Communities knows moving is stressful no matter your age. But it becomes even more anxiety-inducing when you’re an older adult. Relocation stress syndrome is more prevalent in older adults who have
health or complicated medical issues. This is especially true for older adults who do not want to move into a senior living community.*

Relocation stress syndrome also referred to as “transfer trauma” is defined as a “set of
symptoms that happen when an individual moves from one environment to another.”

How To Address ‘Relocation Stress’ Syndrome

Some relocation stress syndrome symptoms include:

  1. Changes in behavior and mood
  2. Impact to physiological well-being
  3. Decline in mental and psychological well-being
  4. Increases in significant health complications
  5. Depression

There are significant risk factors that can lead to an older adult having to move, and that can lead to them experiencing
relocation stress syndrome and include Individuals with mobility limitations, impaired cognitive function, older adults who are living alone and struggling with routine upkeep and feeling unsafe in their home.

How can you, as a loved one or caregiver, help reduce the stress of relocation into a senior living community? Here are a few options:

  1. Engage your loved one in the decision-making process of where he or she will live.
  2. Discuss the potential for relocation prior to a medical crisis arising. Many times, an older adult finds he or she can no longer live in their home following an illness, hospital stay or after a broken bone injury.
  3. Consult with a staff member at one of the American House Senior Living Communities for relocation stress syndrome strategies to reduce its impact. Our team members understand it can sometimes be difficult for our new residents and we do all that we can to make them feel that American House is their new home sweet home.
  4. Help the older adult feel less lonely during the process. Talk with them. Ask what they want or how they’re feeling. If you have a loved one who is suffering from dementia and cannot be involved in the decision-making process, you should still do all you can to prepare them for a move.
  5. Set up the new space so it is as similar as possible to their current living space. Bring cherished items to make them feel more at home. Having photos or knick knacks, favorite blanket or chair or even cherished china or hobby items may be able to make the move with your loved one and that will help their new senior living space feel like home.

South Dakota State University Extension wrote an article about relocation stress and at American House MI Senior Living Communities we understand its importance and impact on residents and families and do our best to help alleviate it.

Contact an American House community near you, take a tour and also ask about how you can connect with General Fausone to ensure you or your loved one is receiving the veterans’ benefits you, or they, have earned.

 American House was founded in 1979 to enrich the lives of seniors and their loved ones in an environment that fosters independence, compassion, quality services and meaningful relationships. We provide a wide range of senior living options, including independent living, independent living with assistance, memory care services provided by a third party, respite stays and hospice in  Dearborn Heights, Farmington Hills, Rochester Hills, Sterling Heights and Westland.