Grief is the natural reaction to loss, whether it is the death of a loved one, lost physical ability or any life changing event. While everyone experiences loss, seniors may experience serious health effects when coping with grief. Helping seniors with loss is important to maintaining their health.
Older people have a higher risk for health issues due to increased stress levels. Helping seniors with loss find outlets for stress can help maintain current health conditions which may be exacerbated by grief.
Another item to monitor when helping seniors with loss is monitoring appetite changes. As we get older decreased appetite is normal, which may cause seniors to skip meals. Be sure to check individuals are taking in nutrition when helping seniors with loss.
Emotional support tips for helping seniors with loss
When experiencing a loss, grieving people are often told, “Please let me know if there is anything I can do.” Well, there is. Be proactive in selecting ways you can help without being asked.
A good way to help seniors with loss is to spend time with them. Providing an outlet for individuals to share emotions can help seniors validate their feelings of grief and be less lonely.
Another way to help seniors with loss is to help out with daily tasks such as assisting with paperwork or accompanying the person to a doctor’s appointment. Keep in touch and show the person through action that they matter and you care.
Most people receive a lot of support immediately after a loss, and that support quickly dwindles. Helping seniors with loss is particularly important in the long term. If the senior lost a close loved one, be sure to support the older adult especially around significant anniversaries, birthdays and other meaningful milestones.
Sometimes the best way of helping seniors with loss is to seek professional support. Grief counseling can be very helpful, whether it is with a therapist or even a trusted confidant such as a pastor. Helping seniors with loss can be helpful in processing the grief and starting the healing process.
Learn more about Finding Support After a Loss and other guides to helping seniors deal with grief in the Family and Caregivers section of our Resource Center.
Country Meadows provides assisted living and personal care services, as well as independent living, restorative care and memory support services on its nine campuses in Pennsylvania and one in Frederick, Maryland. Please contact our team for more information about how we can support you or a loved one.