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How to Help Seniors Cope with Loss

Published: Aug 31, 2009

One of the most difficult parts of aging is dealing with more and more frequent loss of friends and loved ones. If you have an elderly loved one who is dealing with grief – here are some ways you can help:

  • Remember that grief is normal. Instead of trying to pull someone out of their grief, recognize that grieving is a natural process and a way to deal with loss
  • Watch for health problems. While it is normal for some physical symptoms like appetite change to accompany grief, prolonged physical symptoms may be a sign of depression. If you know a senior dealing with loss, watch to make sure he or she isn’t experiencing prolonged physical symptoms as a result.
  • Remember the happy moments. Spend time with your grieving loved one remembering special things about the person who is now gone. Much of grief centers around a fear the deceased will be forgotten. To combat this fear, look at old photo albums or talk about favorite memories you shared.
  • Allow for time. Help your grieving senior remember that grief takes time to work through. Be patient with someone who is grieving a loss. Even if you don’t see it now, he or she will appreciate the time that you took just to be present.
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