3 Tips to Help Seniors Deal With Grief
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 friends. As our loved ones grow older, they may 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 a 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 a senior 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 go 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 it’s 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 play 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 the personal care and support those communities provide.
You can choose the level of care they need while they live as independently as they are able to. Senior living can help them feel less overwhelmed as they receive assistance with housework, medication management, cooking, shopping, and errands and 24-hour access to staff. Most communities also offer counseling services to support your grieving senior while gently encouraging activities that can bring them happiness and community again.
At Solterra Senior Living, we are committed to maximizing the quality of life for our residents, no matter what level of care is needed. Our team of well-trained, caring professionals is available 24 hours a day and focuses on wellness and continued independence. Contact us today so your loved one can live well.