The holiday season is a wonderful opportunity to spend quality time with friends and family while creating lasting memories, for children and aging parents alike. There are always the usual stresses that arise this time of year, like making sure gifts are bought, meals are sorted, and activities are planned to keep everyone happy. However, […]
A Guide to Dealing with Grief
In the later stages of life, there are many areas in which one may experience feelings of loss. Whether it be the loss of a long-time career, mobility, health, independence, or a loved one, seniors may have difficulty adapting to these life changes. They will likely grieve for the things that they have lost, and it’s important to remember that everyone experiences grief differently. The following tips offer advice for helping an elderly loved one overcome their loss:
- Open lines of communication. Encourage your loved one to talk to you, or other friends and family, about their loss. Talking is a positive way to express grief. You can be a healing presence by being a good listener. If your loved one is not ready to speak about their loss, offer to sit with them in silence as a way of showing support.
- Offer your assistance. Don’t wait for your loved one to ask for help. Provide support by helping with everyday tasks like running errands, cooking meals, or paying bills.
- Be understanding. It’s important to remember that grief is a process, not an event. Every individual grieves in a different way, and some may need more time than others. Reassure your loved one that you are there for support, and are not criticizing or judging them for the way in which they are moving through their loss.
- Speak to them about joining a support group. It may be easier for your loved one to talk to others who are experiencing a similar loss. You likely have not reached the same stage in life as your elderly loved one, and they may feel alone or as if you don’t understand.
- Be aware of signs of depression. It’s important to make sure your loved one is experiencing the process of grief in a healthy If you begin to notice them having difficulty functioning in daily life, withdrawing from you and others, or expressing feelings of hopelessness, encourage them to seek professional help.
If you have an elderly loved one that is experiencing some type of loss, understand the ways in which you can help them grieve. It is important to know that everyone processes grief differently, and that you may not understand how they are feeling. The best approach you can take is to be there for your loved one, and to make sure they know that they will always have your support.