Guide to helping seniors deal with homesickness

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Homesickness can be hard to handle when alone. It can be especially hard for seniors after moving to another location. In case you are planning to move to Maryland, it is important to rely on professional and reputable moving companies in Maryland. A good moving company can make a great difference in the quality of the move. If you or your loved ones are feeling homesick after moving, there are certain steps you can take to change for the better. We will share some important insights on helping seniors deal with homesickness, in hopes that it can help those in need.

an elderly woman looking out the window
Moving can set off a whole range of unexpected feelings

Helping seniors deal with homesickness after the move

Moving can be a stressful event for people of all ages. If you are moving in Rockville MD, bear in mind that Excalibur Moving and Storage offers discounts for senior citizens. Change becomes harder with age, and while younger people can feel this as well, it is more common with the elderly. Senior people are more prone to feeling homesick because they have deeper attachments to their previous homes and are more likely to ruminate about life and its passing. Therefore, helping seniors deal with homesickness calls for a tactful and sensitive approach. To successfully overcome homesickness, it is important to first learn how to recognize the signs.

Learn how to recognize the symptoms of homesickness

When trying to decipher whether an elderly person truly is feeling homesick, it is important to understand and observe. If you are a close friend or family member, this should be somewhat easier to notice. On the other hand, if you are a more distant person, such as a new neighbor or an acquaintance, you could also be in a good position to help in your way. Giving a small visit from time to time may help greatly with lifting the heaviness of homesickness. When relocating to the area, you or your seniors might benefit from relying on trustworthy local movers Rockville MD. Learning how to recognize the symptoms of homesickness with elderly people comes down to observing their behavior with love and care. Take notice of any of the following:

  • Isolation – trying to avoid interaction or appearing to be timid during a conversation could be symptomatic
  • Physical symptoms – social workers report headaches as the most common symptom of homesickness
  • Psychological symptoms – appearing nervous, worried, or sad can all point to being homesick.

If you recognize any of these changes with elderly people, don’t worry, as this is a very common problem and can be overcome with some care and attention.

older and younger pair of hands crossed across a table
Reaching out to seniors can make a big difference in helping seniors deal with homesickness

First step: try to reach out

While your need to help might be noble and altruistic, it should be respectful towards the other person’s needs. To put it differently, it is wise to learn how to give care properly. A good example of giving bad attention to a senior who is feeling homesick would be to pry with questions. Most people react badly to this behavior, and they find it intrusive instead. It could even be counterproductive, as sometimes people can be in denial about their true feelings and repress them.

What you should do, on the other hand, is to provide a less direct but gentle approach. For example, a simple offer to come and visit if you are not already living with them could make a small yet significant difference. Also, if you are living together, you might suggest pleasant activities that are simple to do, such as enjoying a good movie together or sharing a cup of tea. This should all be offered in a non-intrusive manner. Since seniors can be a bit avoidant at this time, they might not respond to your suggestions at first, but later on, they could come back and be happy about it.

Remember that sometimes the option of residential moving is best, especially for elders. If you are in the position to do so, contact our dependable residential movers Rockville MD. Having experience in residential moving is extremely important for the relocation to go smoothly, as it can present a bit of a challenge. 

Talking can be therapeutic in helping seniors deal with homesickness

While it is important to try and talk to seniors about their feelings, we should learn how to do it properly.

How not to talk

Talking can be difficult sometimes. After all, an avoidance of social interactions is a common symptom of being homesick. It can also be a sign of an unwillingness to share emotions. When someone is unwilling to share, it might mean they are processing feelings and thoughts and are simply not ready to talk about them yet. This should be respected at all times. On the other hand, if you sense that this person is willing to talk, or he/she comes to you with a will to discuss any topic, it can be taken as a good sign. You might want to try out more subtle questions about the new living space, and see how they react. For instance, you might ask how do they like the view or how is the bed they are sleeping in. Their reply could leave an open space for further talking. Also, they mustn’t feel like you are judging them or rushing them in any way. Just be yourself and open to hearing them out.

How to talk

If they do start talking about feeling homesick, listen to them and let them vent. You could also explore the feelings together. You could point out the more positive sides of the new place or the moving in general, but this is not imperative. What is more important is for them to share how they feel and for you to be there and go through it as well. This type of conversation can be repeated again and again (but spontaneously) until they no longer feel the need to share as much, which should also be a good sign. This can mean that they have at least somewhat processed the homesickness. It is therefore good to be available for conversation and nearby, if possible.

a grandmother and young woman sit and talk and enjoy a box of cookies, which is a great way of helping seniors deal with homesickness
Meeting up over a box of cookies or chocolates and tea can be a great cheerful and bonding activity

Lighten up the atmosphere

You might want to get creative with this. It is a good idea to amp up your decorating skills if you are living with your significant senior. If not, a nice present could be helpful. You might add a beautiful picture, buy some lovely flowers, or throw in bright shades of curtains. A nice gift would be a colorful or personalized mug, or a baked cake or muffins now and then. A big bouquet or even a new easy-to-keep plant might bring a new meaning to the living space. This is all-important because it gives life to a home they aren’t yet used to. It helps to warm up the atmosphere and to make everything more cozy and familiar. Making the new place seem beautiful and cozy might make them give this change a try.

There are many more ways of helping seniors deal with homesickness

Inviting some old friends over if they have any in the city, or inviting grandchildren if they have them could make a big difference. You might also consider buying a pet that’s easy to keep since it can make a great difference for seniors. Suggesting to take a walk if possible can be a great idea. You could google and find if there are any senior-friendly happenings in the city. Of course, these are all just suggestions, but you have to feel if it is a good idea or not. It is very important to respect the boundaries and wishes of the person in question.

If you are interested in helping seniors deal with homesickness in greater detail, reading psychology articles on homesickness can be of great help. It is easy to access and can help you understand the problem in-depth, and act accordingly. If you are becoming worried, you could always ask for professional advice. Remember, what any human being needs most are love and understanding, and if you can provide both, there is no reason for homesickness to linger for long.

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