Relocation stress syndrome in older adults transitioning from home to a long-term care facility: myth or reality?

J Psychosoc Nurs Ment Health Serv. 2007 Jan;45(1):38-45. doi: 10.3928/02793695-20070101-09.


Relocation stress syndrome 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. The primary purpose of this study was to validate the symptoms of relocation stress syndrome. Eight nursing home residents and 8 assisted-living facility residents were interviewed 2 to 10 weeks after admission, when symptoms of relocation stress syndrome are most likely to appear. Results of this study indicate that the incidence of relocation stress syndrome may be overestimated. More accurate diagnosis and treatment of depression in older adults is needed.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Assisted Living Facilities*
  • Female
  • Homosexuality / psychology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Nursing Homes*
  • Patient Transfer*
  • Stress, Psychological / psychology*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires