Losing people in one’s life is never easy, but we tend to think that when people of a certain age pass away, it’s okay because that person experienced a rich, full life. But what about the people who are left behind – the spouses, the best friends and the morning coffee-club conversation partners? When seniors lose friends, acquaintances and loved ones, they experience just as much grief and loss as anyone else. Understanding this fact is important for family members and caregivers, but what’s critical is learning how to help seniors handle their grief and loss in a healthy manner.
You Don’t Have to Do it Alone
When a senior loved one in your life has experienced a loss and you’re the primary caregiver, you may feel a sense of duty that compels you to be the sole provider of emotional support. It doesn’t have to be this way. Don’t hesitate to enlist family members or friends so that they can offer their love and support, as well.
Although grief affects different people in different ways, it is a state that should eventually pass. Unfortunately, for many seniors, grief lingers longer than is necessary to process the pain of loss. This is why you should pay attention to how seniors “bounce back.” Do they seem to have rebounded from the loss more quickly than expected? Are they showing a lack of interest in things that would have captured their attention before? Are they experiencing forgetfulness? These could be signs that grief is continuing and that further support is necessary.
Keeping up With Responsibilities
One of the most helpful things you can do to assist a grieving senior is to help with basic tasks or chores around the home. Make sure bills are being paid on time, plants are being watered, pets are being taken care of and the living space is being kept in good condition. Doing these things can ease the pain of loss considerably.
Life Goes on, No Matter What
Desperation and sadness are common feelings to have when a loss is experienced. But that doesn’t mean that people shouldn’t move on, respectfully, with their own lives. As a family member and/or caregiver, don’t be afraid to lighten the mood and make conversation about the present (and future!). Doing so can show that living with grief is a process that eventually reaches a healthy end point.
Are you looking for more ways to help seniors cope with grief and loss? Do you require help or assistance with meeting the needs of an elderly individual in your life? Contact Always Best Care today for a free consultation, and be sure to visit our website for more helpful information and advice.