As adults get older, they begin to experience changes in the way they behave, feel, and react to certain things. When it comes time to move an elderly loved one into a long-term care facility such as a nursing home, this change often being upon mixed emotions. It may also lead to your loved one suffering from Relocation Stress Syndrome (RSS). What is RSS? According to the State of Wisconsin Board on Aging and Long-Term Care, SSS, also called Transfer Trauma, “is a formal nursing diagnosis and it is defined as psychosocial and/or psychosocial disturbances as a result of transfer from one environment to another.”

While it is difficult for anyone to adjust to a new lifestyle, those who suffer from cognitive impairments may have a harder time than the average person with moving from their home into a nursing home facility. RSS has been known to cause an individual to suffer from confusion, depression, and even agitation. These changes in emotions and feelings have also led to ore falls, self-care deficits, and weight loss.

If you have a loved who was recently transferred to a nursing home facility in Pennsylvania, it is important that you look for signs that indicate how well your relative is adjusting to their new environment. If you find that they aren’t happy or always seem upset, you may want to discuss this with the head nurse to determine what can be done to make this adjustment easier on them. However, you also want to keep an eye out for any odd behavior physical marks also as this could be an indicator that your loved one isn’t being treated properly which is why they are showing signs of being unhappy. As you know, nursing home abuse occurs in many facilities and comes in many forms, so you always need to be on the lookout for any signs of abuse, neglect, or financial exploitation.


What are some characteristics of RSS and how can I help minimize the chances of my loved one suffering from relocation stress?


Some of the characteristics of RSS include:


  • Sadness
  • Depression
  • Crying
  • Confusion
  • Anxiety
  • Sleep disturbance
  • Distrust
  • Falls
  • Loneliness
  • Resistance
  • Expressing concern
  • Restlessness
  • Insecurity
  • Anger
  • Aggressiveness


Some things you can do to help reduce the chances of your loved one developing relocation stress include:


  1. Staying active in their life. It is always healthy for them to see familiar faces.
  2. Request that the staff at the facility maintain their consistent daily pattern and routine.
  3. Help your loved one become acquainted with their new living quarters.
  4. If you are planning on moving a loved one from one place to another or out of their home, don’t rush the move.
  5. Ask your loved what it is they want to help them feel more comfortable and “at home.”


If you would like to read more on what the staff at the facilities can do to help your elderly loved one feel more comfortable with their recent move, visit the Board on Aging and Long-Term Care’s site where you can access this as well as some other characteristics that are generally displayed in a person who suffers from RSS.

Now, if you have a loved who you believe is being mistreated although their behavior might have you thinking they are suffering from RSS, consider talking with a Philadelphia, PA nursing home abuse attorney. They may be able to provide you with some more information that can help you determine what needs to be done so that you can handle the matter accordingly.