Grief and loss are difficult for everyone, but they can be more difficult for a senior. Seniors may experience more loss as their loved ones also age and they are left to navigate the loss of a spouse or close friend. As our loved ones grow older, they need more emotional support.
It may be a difficult time for all, but if a senior doesn’t get the help they need to deal with their grief, it can lead to depression. Fortunately, there are ways to offer support to our aging parents or family members to help them cope with grief in healthy way.
1) Visit Regularly and Acknowledge Their Grief
If your loved one lives alone or in a senior living community, visit them regularly. They may be feeling isolated, and regular visits will help them feel loved, secure, and less lonely. When visiting, allow them to express their sadness. Acknowledging their grief can help seniors process their emotions while feeling safe and supported. Validate their feelings and let them know they are not alone to create a safe, secure space for them to work through their grief and find comfort.
2) Encourage Them to Do Things They Enjoy
It’s important not to rush the grieving process. It takes time and your loved one needs to go through all the stages of grief to find healing. People do not simply get over their grief, and they need time to heal, but help your loved one remember its okay to care for themselves as well.
It’s okay to gently remind them to find activities that bring them joy and help them stay active. Mindfulness activities for seniors will help them have a healthy outlet while they deal with loss. These activities can include taking walks outside, listening to music, journaling, gardening, painting, going to lunch with a friend or finding companionship with a pet. Ask your loved one what they enjoy, help them brainstorm, and encourage these activities.
3) Find Support
Support systems pay a critical role in healthy grieving. Help your loved one find the support and level of care they need. Do they need in-home care, a support group, or counseling? If they have a caregiver, enlist their help. If not, it may be time to find a good caregiver for additional support.
Grief can also keep us from doing everyday chores, and your loved one may need help with daily tasks. If they are not already in a senior care community, it may be time to consider their personal care and the support those communities provide.
At Yuma Senior Living, we support our residents with all their activities of daily living. We also offer 24-hour on-site care staff and weekly housekeeping in a tranquil and safe environment. Simply give us a call at (928) 388-6858, and our Community Ambassador will schedule an onsite tour at your convenience.