Symptoms of Relocation Stress Syndrome are: exhaustion, sleep disturbance, anxiety, grief, depression, and disorientation. These can be exacerbated by the death of a loved one, dementia, poor physical health, frailty, no support system, sensory impairment and simply not knowing what lies ahead!
I often tell seniors that even IF THEY DO NOTHING they may feel exhausted when they are faced with a move. Downsizing involves decisions: what to keep; what to give away; what to sell; what to donate; and what to discard and it really can be a difficult process for many people.
We prefer to “sort to move” – to help them decide on the things that will make their new residence “home.” We use green dots to identify the items that will be moving to their new “home.” GREEN IS GO – if there is a green dot it will be moving with them. Explaining this process at the outset may alleviate some of the anxiety about what lies ahead.
When the care-giving spouse dies often the surviving partner needs to be moved to get the support that is needed. There are people who can help you make the right choice so that the various needs are met.
If you have a senior parent who needs to move consult or hire a professional if you can. Remember that “just being there” for your loved one is the real priority. They need your support and physical presence more than anything else.
BE THERE FOR THEM and leave the moving details to the professionals!