You experience a great deal of loss and grief when someone you care about passes away. Older people, who are constantly reminded of their own mortality, are especially affected by this. Sometimes an elderly person’s grief is so intense that they experience shock. We consider a few symptoms of sadness and loss from loving someone, as well as some techniques to assist elders cope with loss.
Signs of grief or loss
- The inability to acknowledge a situation’s reality is referred to as denial.
- The sense of injustice surrounding the loss, which causes emotional wrath.
- Bargaining is the act of expressing a desire to make a deal with fate in order to reclaim part of the time lost with a loved one.
- Depression is characterized by a profound sense of loss and doom.
- Acceptance is the process of coming to terms with the loss and increasing your capacity to move on with your life.
It is important to note, however, that the passage through these five stages of grief does not always occur in the order listed. In certain cases, a person will never be able to get past a certain stage and will remain stuck there.
The following are additional signs that someone you care about might be going through the stages of grief or loss:
- A feeling of either confusion or forgetfulness
- Loss of appetite, fatigue, and irritability
- The inability to focus and poor sleep, mild guilt feelings, trouble getting motivated, withdrawing from family and friends, and significant weight loss are all signs of despair and anguish.
Ways to cope with loss and grief for the elderly
Keep in constant contact
Whether your loved ones reside in their own home or an elderly care facility, it’s crucial to stay in touch with them and make an effort to see them frequently. If you are unable to express your concern in person, a phone call or video call is the next best option. When you call or visit your loved ones, they will have something to look forward to, which is beneficial for their mental health and may even have a positive effect on their physical health.
Every time you contact or visit them, ask how they are doing. A person who has lost a loved one could experience good days and bad days back to back; they might be doing great one day and struggling the next. Spend time with them, pay attention to what they have to say, and make an effort to see their situation from their perspective.
Listen, and allow them to vent their feelings of sorrow
When someone close to you suffers a loss, it is crucial that you tell them that their feelings of sadness and loss are normal and healthy responses. Not much can be said to make things better in circumstances like this. Sometimes just being there and listening to what people have to say is the most effective course of action. You don’t always need to use words to communicate a point; sometimes just being present and listening may suffice.
Assist in keeping them mentally occupied.
You could update your loved one about the wonderful things that have been happening in your life to keep their mind active and engaged. It’s not necessary for every discussion to centre around pain and loss. By telling them stories and providing them with information, you can attempt to uplift their spirits and aid them in maintaining their connection to you, your family, and the greater community.
Ask how you can be of assistance
It can be as easy as cooking a few meals for someone, doing their shopping, or taking them out for the day to do something enjoyable to help them get over their loss. Offer to connect your loved one with someone who has experienced a journey akin to the one they are going through. Another method to let your loved one know they are not alone is to establish connections with others who have gone through similar experiences.
Additionally, you might let them know that you are always there if they want to talk to you about their sadness or loss. Talking about and remembering the happy times they had with a loved one who has passed away can help a lot of people who are grieving the loss of a family member. Instead of focusing on the loss itself, grieving seniors should remember the happy times they enjoyed with their loved ones.
Each person has a different experience with loss and grief. While some people are able to talk about it and express their feelings in public, others can decide to keep their feelings to themselves. You shouldn’t judge a loved one for their method of mourning just because it differs from your own or because they might need to take a break from it to focus on something that will help them feel better.
The anniversary of the loss, the birthday of the deceased, or the anniversary of a wedding can all serve as triggers for specific aspects of sorrow to resurface and send the person you care about into a tailspin. Grief is a process that never ends. A mental health professional, their primary care physician, or a grief counsellor may be able to help if you notice that your loved one’s condition is deteriorating over time rather than improving and that this is having a negative influence on their quality of life.
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