Moving anxiety is often a standard component of the relocation process. This anxiety and stress often is increased when you are moving from a home that you have been in for a very long time. This is often the case with the relocations that Interiors for Seniors does. Relocation stress syndrome (RSS) (also known as “transfer trauma”) is a nursing diagnosis characterized by symptoms such as anxiety, confusion, hopelessness, and loneliness. It usually occurs in older adults shortly after moving from a private residence to a nursing home or assisted-living facility.[i] Here are some good practices to include in the moving process to reduce senior anxiety.
ALLOW YOU SENIOR TO BE A PART OF THE DECISION MAKING-PROCESS
Unless your senior has dementia or another illness which prevents him or her from participating in decision-making, try not to rush through the moving process without their input. There is, however, a fine line between including your senior in the decision process of moving and overwhelming them with minute details.
Included in the decision-making would be:
· Where to move
· Which realtor to sell previous home
· Sorting through belongs for downsizing.
Remember, the belongings you feel are unimportant may have a life-long significance to your mom or dad and will make the new place seem more familiar. Perhaps finding a new home for their belongings that will not fit in their new location would be beneficial. Knowing that their prized possessions have found a new home with you or their grandchildren could ease the separation. It would also be helpful to have a dedicated box for the treasures that could be stored until you get to the new place and decide if it can fit in to the space. [ii]
The key is to be both delicate and respectful.
2. STAYING ORGANIZED AND CONSISTENT CAN DEFINITELY REDUCE STRESS IN THE MOVE
Moving is a challenge to anyone, no matter what their age.
· The adult children who are assisting their parents to move will have a stress level with which to contend. They will each have their own schedules to juggle around in order to assist their loved one with the move.
· The stress and emotions involved for their loved ones when they are leaving their home and downsizing their belongings.
MAKING YOUR MOVE PLEASANT CAN REDUCE STRESS
One of the best things that can do at this juncture is to take a realistic approach. If your loved one[s] is pleased with their new location then measure the new space available and organize their belongings for the move into each room for the new location.
Once this is done, it will be easier for the adult children to point out the actual amount of belongings that will go in the move and the remaining to be eliminated. This is where you pick your favorite items out. I know it seems you can never part with some things, but many of the items that have accumulated in a house over a long period of time are outdated, broken or unnecessary.
GOOD IDEA HERE '
Eliminate rooms that are not in the new locations. Nearly everything in those spaces will need to be sold, donated, tossed, or relocated to other rooms.
Lastly, allow for time to reminisce while sorting. [iii]
I ran across this quote and felt it is fitting to share here:
"Life belongs to the living and he who lives must be prepared for changes.” ~Johann Wolfgang von Goethe~
[i] Walker, Charles A, et al. “Relocation Stress Syndrome in Older Adults Transitioning from Home to a Long-Term Care Facility: Myth or Reality?” Journal of Psychosocial Nursing and Mental Health Services, U.S. National Library of Medicine, Jan. 2007, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17304985.
[ii] “5 Tips for Reducing a Senior's Anxiety About Moving – Era Living.” Era Living, 8 Oct. 2016, www.eraliving.com/blog/5-tips-for-reducing-a-seniors-anxiety-about-moving/.
[iii] “Senior-Friendly Guide to Downsizing.” MYMOVE, www.mymove.com/moving/senior-guide-downsizing/.