Supporting Grieving Seniors After Loss

Photo of a woman supporting her elderly mother through a difficult time.

Most people, especially seniors, understand that death is an inevitable part of life.  Still, when a loved one passes away, the grief that follows can be challenging. If you have a senior loved one that is grieving, it’s important to give them the support they need.

Unfortunately, you may not always be able to be there personally. If this is the case, you may want to consider in-home care for your senior loved one. The caregivers at Gentle Shepherd Home Care offer a variety of senior care services, including companionship, which can help your grieving loved one.

If you are able to be there in person, here are a few tips for supporting your grieving senior loved one after loss.

5 Tips

Below are 5 tips for helping your senior loved one cope with grief:

Don’t deny their grief

Many people have the mindset that seniors are stalwarts of stability- but it’s important to remember that they have the same emotional setbacks as the younger generation. If someone they love passes away, they experience the same emotions that anyone else would and need to be encouraged, loved, and supported. Do not deny their grief, but help them navigate the stages of grief.

Offer help with end-of-life issues

When it is a spouse that passes away, your loved one may feel overwhelmed, especially when it comes to dealing with end-of-life issues with insurance companies, medical/legal matters, the funeral home, attorneys, and other issues that need their attention. Offer to step in and take care of these things for them or support them as they do.

Help organize daily living tasks

Many times, when a spouse passes away, the person left behind loses their purpose because everything changes. Their partner/companion is gone, and life no longer makes sense. These changes can be unbearable for some seniors. You can make this transition easier for them by helping them organize their daily living tasks.

Spend time with them

Any time someone is dealing with the loss of a loved one, they need additional comfort and support from friends and family. Often, people isolate themselves when dealing with grief, especially after losing a spouse. Unfortunately, this can lead to depression, which is a serious health concern for seniors. Spend time with your grieving senior loved one to get them through the grief process.

Offer emotional and spiritual support

When an older adult experiences loss, you become one of the most significant grief resources in their life. They may need help navigating through the emotions they are experiencing. They often struggle with fear and anxiety about the future, as well as losing their faith and spirituality.

You can help them by being there for them and allowing them the space to talk about what they are going through. Avoid trying to “fix” it for them- sometimes they only need to talk about their feelings. If they are struggling with a loss of faith and spirituality, help them connect with their higher power by having spiritual conversations or accompanying them to worship services.

Consider In-Home Care for Your Grieving Senior Loved One

If your loved one is in or near Colorado Springs and you are unable to be there for them in person, consider hiring one of the friendly caregivers from Gentle Shepherd Home Care. We have the experience and expertise to assist your loved ones with a variety of in-home care services including companionship, transportation, and more.

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