If you or a loved one are having difficulty carrying out everyday activities, such as getting dressed and bathed, keeping house, or getting to and from appointments or just getting out to get groceries, then assisted living may seem like a logical alternative. Just as those who need more specialized medical care for their particular condition might see residential or nursing home care as a logical alternative to living on one’s own.
Regardless of the reason for seeking a move to assisted living or residential care, there is a psychological aspect that can affect the “move-ee” and their family. Relocation Stress Syndrome can take the form of resistance and outright defiance to moving altogether. We will take a look at what these psychological factors are and how families and help smooth the transition.
Behind Moving Scenes
Like most people when faced with the reality of moving, seniors — assisted living and other outpatient living arrangements are not only for seniors, but as seniors comprise the largest percentage of residents in these kinds of facilities, the term “seniors” will be used — experience basic moving stress associated with sorting out possessions and packing things away and making sure all financial and other arrangements have been made with the new place.
However, there is so much more than just stress. There is also a sense of grief or loss. Grief and loss when revisiting old memories or possessions (particularly for a widow or widower). Grief over loss of independence, leaving a familiar neighborhood and surroundings.
Grief shows itself in a variety of ways, as well: shock, anger, guilt. It is important to know (particularly for family members) what to expect and to know that it is perfectly normal. However, if the feelings of depression and others linger for too long, intervention may be needed.
There is also the fear of going to a new place: meeting new people, getting used to a new schedule, a new way of doing things, getting possessions organized in the new house/apartment, uncertainty about learning to trust the nursing staff and new neighbors.