The advancement of age brings various reasons to grieve. Loved ones move or pass away. Life’s normal routines change with new medical diagnoses or assistance may be needed for daily tasks. Most importantly, find the positive when faced with a loss.
Grief is a result of losing happiness; without happiness we would not experience grief. Author Elisabeth Kübler-Ross identifies the five stages of grief in her book On Death and Dying. Bear in mind these stages occur randomly in no particular order.
- Denial –difficulty believing what has happened
- Anger – questioning the fairness of the loss
- Bargaining – wishing to make a deal with fate to gain more time with the one who was lost
- Depression – becoming very sad about the loss
- Acceptance – feeling some resolution to the grief and more ability to go on with life
The following are suggestions to help one who is grieving:
- Denial… Be patient. Listen to the memories and validate the loss. Remember the power of touch and hold their hand as they cry or become silent. Reality will occur in time.
- Anger… Calmly discuss the “what ifs.” Yes, a friend may have died too soon but should they have lingered, the pain would have lasted longer. If a physical ability has changed, consider therapy. Think of what is still capable of being done, not how it was previously accomplished.
- Bargaining… Acknowledge we are not in control of the past or the future but we do welcome the present.
- Depression… Seniors experience grief differently. They are often isolated and keep emotions to themselves. Be there for your Senior. Ask others to check in with them, share memories, try a new activity, or attend a church service together. If signs of depression are evident or thoughts of suicide arise, contact a mental health professional immediately.
- Acceptance… Acknowledge the loss and welcome each day as it comes. Understand life has changed but may be better because of what has been lived through with loved ones.
Bridge to Better Living believes in Quality of Life and assists Seniors to find the appropriate fit for a new and improved lifestyle. Transition Consultants are patient, listen to personal stories, and build relationships from the first meeting to infinity. Call Bridge to Better Living when considering Independent, Assisted, Memory Assisted or Long-Term Care. Christine Mason Miller, author of Desire to Inspire states “At any given moment you have the power to say: this is not the way the story is going to end.”. Bridge to Better Living will help write the story.