Doctors are increasingly aware of Relocation Stress Sundrome, or transfer trauma, among seniors forced to leave a long-time home full of memories for an (often smaller) new abode for medical reasons. Many find this move profoundly stressful and manifest severe anxiety or depression as a result. It can even cause symptoms similar to dementia. It is especially important to acknowledge and respect the intense feelings of loss, sadness and fear that accompany a move from one’s own home to assisted living.
- Transfer trauma is also referred to as “relocation stress syndrome” and it is commonly found in elders that are forced by circumstances to leave their homes.
- The syndrome is characterized by three symptoms in particular, anxiety, confusion and loneliness.
- Although the stress syndrome is common, it can easily be misdiagnosed as a precursor of dementia, or simply part of “getting old.”
“It took a stroke to get my 77-year-old blind and widowed father to finally agree it was time to move from his beloved home out in the Texas countryside to a care home.”