Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Mourning the Loss of a Spouse

Losing a spouse is a devastating experience, and seniors all mourn in their own way. In fact, there is no one way to heal after such a loss, and it can take weeks to months to even years for individuals to overcome their grief. When your elderly loved one loses their husband or wife, senior care professionals recommend that you give them room to experience their emotions naturally while ensuring that they are safe and secure.

Senior care professionals know that you cannot alleviate the pain that your loved one is feeling, but there are ways in which you can encourage them to work through their grief in a healthy manner. According to the National Institute on Aging, the following are extremely important:1  
  • Urge your senior to seek support. This can come in the form of turning to friends or family members to talk through their experience, speaking with a professional, or joining a support group. All of these are wonderful options, and seniors should be encouraged to choose the one that will best help them heal. 
  • Keep your elderly loved one from making significant changes too quickly. To distract themselves from their loss, seniors might want to move to a new city, sell their home, or make other changes. While these decisions may be in the best interest of your senior, it is important that your loved one is able to make such choices when they are thinking clearly, not when their judgment is clouded by grief. 
  • Make your senior’s health a priority. After the loss of a loved one a senior may not feel as though their health is a concern, but it is important that they keep up with their physical, mental, and emotional wellbeing as much as they can. Don’t push too hard, but do make sure that your loved one takes their medications and upholds any medical appointments they may have. After a few days, try to get them outside and encourage them to get some physical exercise into each day—even if it’s just a short walk around the block. 
Losing a spouse is a devastating experience, and it is something that will change an elderly individual forever. But with your assistance, your senior can work through their grief naturally without compromising their health or safety.

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