Grieving the death of a loved one is ranked among one of the most stressful life events, regardless of age. However, seniors may have more difficulty during the grieving process than their younger counterparts. It isn’t uncommon for seniors to experience a higher level of apathy and depression, which often has a direct impact on their quality-of-life. Although you may be grieving yourself, there are a few things that you can do to assist your loved one during this trying time.
- Combat Feelings of Isolation – According to the Institute on Aging, feelings of isolation can occur as seniors face the reality that individuals who have been a major part of their lives for years and in some cases decades, begin to perish. As they lose close friends and family members, they may begin to feel as though they are alone. These feelings may be further magnified if the senior has lost a spouse. When a senior loses a spouse, it may be time to discuss a long-term care plan, possibly moving them in with you to help ensure their safety and provide them with companionship. Learn more about providing care at home and professional services for in-home care in Palm Beach County.
- Grieve and Reminiscence – Part of the grieving process involves taking a trip down memory lane. The family can ask the senior about the friend or loved one, encouraging them to tell stories of their past. Reminiscing about good times will help the individual focus on the positive times they had with the person that they have lost. In a study, more seniors than not, reported that this helped them accept the loss and to come to terms with the situation more quickly than those who did not.
- Take the Emphasis Off of Age – When confronted with the loss of a loved one, many seniors begin to think about their own mortality. Focusing on the age of the person that they have lost, or their own age, can prove detrimental to the grieving process. For this reason, caregivers and family should emphasize the strengths and accomplishments of the senior, shifting focus away from age-related conditions, if present, and health during the senior’s final days.
If you have an aging parent or loved one who has recently lost a close friend, family member or spouse, it is important to understand how difficult and emotional this time can be for them. Act as a support system and don’t push them to talk if they aren’t ready. For families who are separated by loved ones by physical distance or who may not be able to visit regularly, consider help from a professional and compassionate Palm Beach caregiver. These individuals can offer companionship and support and are trained in how to assist seniors overcome age-related challenges.
For more information about senior care services offered by Home Care Assistance of Palm Beach or to schedule a complimentary, in-home consultation, contact a Care Manager at 561-429-8292 today.