How to Deal with the Loss of an Elderly Loved One
Even when your elderly loved one’s health is declining, this doesn’t mean dealing with their death is easy. In fact, the grief can be just as difficult as if the loved one was young and healthy. There are things that you can do to better deal with this loss, though, and it begins when it become clear that your family member is seriously declining in health.
Consider Hospice Care
One of the best ways to ease your loved one’s transition out of this life is to move to hospice care. These professionals know how to use palliative care methods to ensure the elderly individual is as comfortable as possible. And, when you know the person you love is not in pain, it will be much easier for you to deal with their loss. Additionally, many hospice facilities have social workers or grief counselors who will help you deal with the pain and variety of emotions that you may feel.
Know the Stages of Grief
You will go through the stages of grief. Everyone does in different ways and for different lengths of time. When you understand these stages, then you will be better prepared to deal with them. They include:
Allowing yourself to go through these stages is a must. If you try to force yourself to ignore them or “move on with life”, then you will make things worse. You need time to grieve, whether your loved one was in hospice or not.
Keep in mind too that everyone grieves in their own ways. You may only need a few weeks or you may need a year or more. Allow yourself to grieve in your way and this will make it easier to get through the whole process.
Depend on Loved Ones
Remember that your elderly family member had other family as well. This gives you a chance to get the support of those people as well. What you may find is that they need you just as much as you need them. So, don’t alienate yourself from them. Instead, depend on each other for support through a very difficult process.
It is best for your elderly loved one if their family is present in the first place when they face the end of their life. So, since family will be gathered anyway, make sure you work with them to provide a support system for each other.
Losing a loved one is hard, and it doesn’t matter how old or young they are. You will deal with a whole range of emotions, including anger, sadness, depression, etc. It’s natural to grieve, but you can make the process easier with the above tips. If your elderly loved one has lost someone, then read this article (Three Things to Know about Grief in the Elderly). Additionally, check into the article (The Role of Friends and Family when Elderly Individuals Move into a Nursing Home) on your role as a family member of an aging individual. This will give you more information on how to play a supportive role for your family when they are grieving.
Tags: Hospice care