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Moving a life-time of memories is no easy task.  It takes an emotional toll on anyone trying to move.  Most of us don't like change and if you're an older adult who has lived in the same house for over 30 years it can be taxing.  The logistics of planning, packing and paying for a move are one thing but the emotional element of changing one's primary residence can lead to a condition called Relocation Stress Syndrome (RSS).
RSS also known as transfer trauma is a combination of physiological and/or psychological disturbances as a result of transfer from one environment to another.  It does not discriminate and effects those who have chosen to move as well as those forced to move.
Some symptoms of RSS include:
  • Exhaustion
  • Sleep disturbance
  • Anxiety
  • Financial strain
  • Grief and loss
  • Depression
  • Disorientation
  • Weight loss/gain
When this happens the adult child feels responsible and guilty for these problems.  You should not take the symptoms personally, rather understand them and help your loved one through this emotional process.  Respect your parent by telling them there will be an adjustment period.  Here are some tips to help your parent through RSS and the move:
  • Allow a lot of preparation time
  • Make sure there's a floor plan
  • Hire a Senior Move Manager, if possible, to coordinate and help through the whole transition process
  • Encourage them to continue with their daily routine
  • Put together a care plan and lay out each step of the process
  • Hire a personal assistant or caregiver to help through the confusion during the first week and/or until they're acclimated
  • Invite friends and family to the new building for lunch or dinner
  • Meet the resident program manager and get their number for help if needed
  • Visit your loved one often
  • Encourage interaction with other like-minded older adults
Less move-related stress benefits the facility staff, other residents, family, friends, and seniors.  If you need help with a loved-one for an upcoming move Call Paxem, Inc. at 847-829-4437 or visit for help today!

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