Healing after the death of a loved one is difficult at any age. If you are an older adult or if you are caring for an elderly family member, you likely have experienced the unique needs of bereavement support for seniors.
Coping with death can be especially difficult for seniors who are dealing with other issues such as health problems or loneliness. Plus, when someone is dealing with the death of a spouse, there is the process of learning how to live without their life-long partner, someone who was a huge support in day-to-day living.
Grieving is a process and healing differs from person to person. But reaching out and talking through grief, getting the support needed, can help.
Types of Bereavement Support for Seniors
Engaging with a support system is a healthy way to grieve loss. For different individuals this can mean different things. If there is a group of friends and family in place, healing can occur by talking about loss with these trusted individuals. But many don’t have close ties in place, or those relationships have deteriorated over time, in which case speaking with a professional or attending a support group can be very helpful.
Avoiding the pain is not recommended. Bereavement support for seniors, or anyone at any age, requires feeling the impact of the loss. This can mean a variety of emotions will be experienced including anger, guilt, sadness, and fear.
Remember to Take Care of Yourself
When people are in pain, they are prone to neglecting their own health. The process of grieving can stress the body, physically and emotionally. If you are grieving, be sure to take care of your health so that you are able to heal.
Part of healing is acknowledging the loss. When talking through the loss, speaking with a counselor can be helpful because they can focus their attention solely on listening. Talking about a loved one and the relationship that was shared is a way of moving toward acceptance.
If you are helping an older adult with grief in their life, know that bereavement support for seniors isn’t about stopping their pain or them forgetting about the person they’ve lost. Support is needed so they can live with the memories with less pain. It is not about ignoring the loss but about accepting the death so they are able to move foreword with their own lives.
Change is a part of life, but coping with life changes is difficult. And changes can be tough to tackle from a logical perspective because life change impacts everyone on an emotional level. So, even though we logically know that death is part of life, it is still extremely upsetting emotionally.
Are you grieving or do you know a senior who is in need of support? Know that help is available. It is possible to move through the pain and find a way to move forward.
Kendall Van Blarcom is a senior helping seniors. Contact Van Blarcom Consulting today for help with your personal problems. Or, reach out to provide support for an older adult in your life.