The impact of relocation on elderly patients with mental illness
Twenty-three elderly patients with long-term mental illness were relocated from a large tertiary mental health facility to two extended care units (ECUs) in their district of origin. The patients were assessed on measures of functioning, aggression and agitation at 6 weeks pre-relocation, and again at 6 weeks and 6 months post-relocation. The impact of relocation on the group proved to be less dramatic than findings reported in the literature. The adverse affects of relocation were likely to have been offset by the preparation and planning undertaken prior to relocation, and the support provided to staff and patients in the period following relocation. The findings have implications for nursing staff involved in the relocation of people with mental illness between wards within a hospital or from one hospital to another.