It is well documented that moving home can be stressful for lots of people. Even when it is a positive and exciting new adventure there can still be a lot of emotional reasons to stay we are, even if we know that there are many practical reasons to recommend a change.
Older people and their family members can start thinking about making a move when issues arise such as; stairs becoming a problem, a garden is too much to manage, or there is an element of modification required that makes the original home no longer appropriate.
These precise reasons though can be why moving can be seen as a negative thing; a sign of frailty or of an inability to cope, which can be a very difficult concept.
Older people, especially many of those living with dementia, rely very heavily on their routines for their comfort and peace of mind. And a completely new beginning can feel very unsettling. Let us also not underestimate the importance of memories and emotions attached to places and homes.
Ideally, it is for the older person to come to a conclusion about where they want to live on their own – maybe with a “pros and cons” list. But sometimes family members, no matter how well meaning, can be overprotective, making the older person feel pressured into a choice before they are ready.
This is where an independent advocate can help. No advice. No agenda. Just hear to listen and to help the older person speak up about their needs and wants.
Find out about advocacy providers in your area here: https://opaal.org.uk/locations/