Moving is stressful and exhausting no matter your age. However, for seniors, the idea of moving from their home to a senior living community may come with added anxiety. In fact, psychologists often refer to this worry as Relocation Stress Syndrome (RSS), and it is oftentimes accompanied by anxiety and grief. Here are some ways you can help ease the transition to an independent living or assisted living community.
Oftentimes with a move from a home into an independent living or assisted living facility, a certain degree of downsizing occurs. Children and loved ones can sometimes feel the need to sell or donate many of the items in this process however this can cause a certain level of trauma.
Ensure that certain items, particularly any items that provide comfort or hold sentimental value make the move with your loved one. Maybe it’s their favorite chair or a particular mug that they hold dear. Whatever the case, providing this level of continuity and consistency from their old home to their new one can make the transition easier.
When downsizing and sifting through personal belongings of your loved ones, it’s important to remember to approach the process with respect. The process can be emotional and stressful so don’t rush them or force them to part with items that they deem important.
It can be particularly important to involve your loved one in the transition. Bring them on tours and get their feedback. Listen to their concerns and invite them to engage in the decision-making process. It will help alleviate everyone’s anxiety, including your own, if everyone feels good about the decision.
As mentioned before, moving is stressful no matter who you are. In these instances, it is best to prepare well in advance. It will help prepare your loved one for a smooth transition and give them time to process the move.
Moving is a hectic process, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have fun. Indulge your loved one in walking down memory lane, browse old photos and share stories that will make them smile. Show them that the transition can be exciting and an overall positive experience.