Supporting Seniors Through the Grieving Process

By Tracy Lamourie on November 03, 2015
It's not easy for anyone to lose a loved one.
 
No matter how old we are,  we suffer when we lose someone we love.  
 
In some ways, it can be even more difficult for a senior citizen.   They experience loss more often than any other age group, and in some cases they may already feel isolated after the loss of many friends and family members of their own age.  Seniors have often reported how difficult it can be to be the only one of their original group of friends or siblings left, and the loss of another peer can be demoralizing as well as depressing.

 

 

 
It can be even more difficult to deal with the death of a younger person, perhaps a much loved family member, a child, a niece, a nephew, or a grandchild.
 
And sometimes the loss of a partner that has been their other half for decades, can be debilitating as well as devastating.  So how can a caregiver help a senior through this inevitable process?
 
Caregivers can make a huge difference.
 
In some ways, dealing with grief is the same no matter the age... it's long been known that people go through  a process in coming to accept the loss of a loved one :
 
Denial
Anger
Bargaining
Depression
Acceptance
 
It is difficult to grieve alone - priority number one is not to let the Senior feel abandoned or alone.  Home care is vital in this regard.  Check in with your loved one,  take them out of the house, attempt to distract them with activities and family and friends.   Be patient and understanding, realizing that it will take time to come to terms with sadness and even anger at this loss.
 
Watch out for signs and symptoms of depression, which can include sadness, fatigue, loss of interest in things that used to hold their interest, increased use of alcohol, loss of appetite or unusual sleep disturbances, ( Older people often become physically ill).   
 
Often seniors are unlikely to share this kind of information, so be sensitive and aware and make an extra effort to try to alleviate sadness and loneliness in seniors who have experienced loss.
 
 
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By Tracy Lamourie| November 03, 2015
Categories:  Care Giving

About the Author

Tracy Lamourie

Tracy Lamourie

Tracy Lamourie is the President and Creative Director of Lamourie Public Relations & Marketing. In that world, she represents clients as diverse as politicians, entertainment figures, newsmakers, ethical businesses and not for profit groups whose aims she supports. Tracy also has a lot of media experience - radio, TV, newspapers and new media. She’s worked at various times as a television host, television producer, and radio host. She’s also a human rights and social justice activist with a long history of work on various international and local issues Tracy and her work on various social justice issues have also been featured on television broadcasts as varied as CBC’s The Fifth Estate, Court TV, A & E, CTV across North America.

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