When a senior loses a loved one, it can be heartbreaking and have a deep impact on their life. The grieving process could last for a long time and they can experience different levels of depression or anxiety. Providing care to someone dealing with grief may be challenging, however, there are many ways to offer compassionate support and to help the person cope with their grief.
It is important to be able to recognize when someone is dealing with grief. Keep in mind that each individual grieves differently, and that process will look different for everyone, but here are some signs of grief in the elderly to be aware of:
· Trouble sleeping
· Problems with concentration
· Guilt for being the one who is still alive
· Feelings of loneliness or isolation
· Loss of appetite
How to Help Elderly Cope with Grief
It can be difficult to help a loved one navigate loss and mourning. Here are some things you can try to help your loved one or the person in your care recover from grief.
Make sure they stay healthy. When someone is grieving, they tend to stop caring for themselves. It is important to help the senior in your care get enough sleep and maintain a nutritional diet during this time.
Ask how you can help. Your loved one may not be ready to talk about what they are going through right away but letting them know that you are there for them can be extremely comforting. Persevere and ensure that the person in your care knows you are there to listen if they would ever like to confide you. Even if they don’t open up immediately, your presence will be reassuring and can help them process their sorrow. It will also help alleviate feelings of anxiety and isolation.
Join a grief support group. Grief support groups can be a wonderful catalyst for connecting with people who are experiencing something similar. Speaking to someone who understands the pain your elderly loved one is dealing with can go a long way in helping them heal.
Stay busy. It is easy for someone to dwell on sadness if they are alone or bored. Staying active is a great way to find new purpose and to focus on something besides grief. Even something as simple as taking a daily walk can be beneficial. Volunteering is also a wonderful way to help cope with sadness. Giving back to individuals who need help or to a community can bring a deep sense of fulfillment. You can also consider adopting a pet, offer to watch grandchildren, or get a part time job.
You will never be alone with our compassionate caregivers by your side. If you are caring for an elderly loved one who is grieving and need a break to rest or run some errands, can rest assured that our skilled caregiver will be by your loved one’s side. If you prefer not to leave our caregiving team can run the errands for you too. Call a Homewatch CareGivers location near you to learn more about how we can help.