Feeling homesick after moving to senior living may not be as rare as you may think. In fact, it is perfectly normal, and everyone experiences it to varying degrees. Research has shown that we will go through a grieving period when experiencing significant life changes. After moving to senior living, almost every new resident will show signs of homesickness in the first six to eight weeks but will typically feel integrated into the community by the fourth to sixth month. Read on to learn about how you can spot signs of homesickness and how you and your loved ones can deal with homesickness when residing in the best retirement communities in South Carolina.
Causes and Signs of Homesickness
Stressful feelings frequently result from a lack of control over one’s routine and environment. Residents in senior living may also struggle with social anxiety as they feel the need to behave in a certain way to fit in with their neighbors. For example, women may prefer dressing up for dinner while men may associate dinner with changing out of their suits and donning something more casual.
Here are some signs of homesickness to look out for:
- Trouble sleeping or sleeping more than usual
- Feeling anxious when you don’t typically experience it
- Lack of appetite
- Having headaches when you don’t usually experience them
- Shyness or reluctance to join in on social situations
Anxiety would be the most obvious sign of homesickness. Being able to realize and acknowledge it is a big step in the right direction, so don’t be afraid to reach out for help!
Coping with Homesickness
When faced with homesickness and other unpleasant emotions and thoughts, always be honest with yourself about them. Rather than trying to suppress them, strive to accept and validate these emotions and fears. Feeling disoriented and depressed in a new environment is perfectly normal, and you just need to find ways to address these fears and incorporate the crucial aspects of your former life into your present one at your chosen retirement community.
Firstly, you can look for some practical support. A sudden change in the environment may cause some disorientation. For example, you may have been used to having your dresser on the right side of the bed for more than 50 years, but this placement is impossible in your new apartment. In such a situation, you may want to consider placing something that brings you comfort on that side of the bed, such as a beloved quilt.
Secondly, look for emotional support. When there is a feeling of loss in your current life, explore your emotions through some self-reflection. Validate and acknowledge that these emotions are normal when you move to a new home. Realizing what you’re feeling and acknowledging that it’s normal will help you in taking action and moving forward. Finding support among the senior living team and other residents is a great way to help you get settled into your new home.
Be sure to let the senior living team know what you need. If possible, try to prioritize what aspects of your previous life you need to bring into your new one in order to feel secure and at home. By working together, the transition into senior living would be much smoother and enjoyable.