Helping Older Adults Manage Momentous Events of Their Lives

The momentous events of life, as the death of a loved one, the newly diagnosed health problems and job loss can happen at any age. However, as people age, these events become more common. Grief is a normal and healthy response to loss, but over time, can become a burden on the emotional and mental health and even may cause depression. If you are a caregiver or spend time with an adult, learn how to help your loved one cope with a loss.

Learn about the grieving process

It is important to remember that there is a way "right" to grieve. Everyone is different, and each loss is different. Give your loved one's time and space to grieve in their own way.

Listen

The most important thing you can do is listen. You may not know what to say to comfort your loved one. That's fine. Your loved one may simply need someone to talk about their feelings. If you are nervous or uncomfortable, try to remember the following tips:

  • If your loved one is mourning the death of a friend or relative, do not afraid to talk about the person who died. This can help your loved one feel less alone in the loss.
  • Try to avoid saying things like "I know how you feel" or "everything is for good". This minimizes the feelings of your loved one and can make it to retract. Remember, as the grieving process is different for each person, your loved one probably does not know how to cope. Instead, say things like "I know this must be hard" or "you do not have to be strong" to help your loved one to express their feelings.
  • Sometimes it's enough to just sit with the person. Your loved one does not want to talk, but neither wants to be alone. It's okay to spend time together without speaking.

Offer to help

Feelings of grief and loss can be overwhelming, and may even small tasks seem exhausting. Do not wait for your loved one get help. Instead, offer to make dinner, do some shopping, look for a prescription, or do some housework. It is more likely that your loved one accept help if it makes a specific offer, instead of saying "tell me if you need help."

Learn the warning signs of depression

The symptoms of grief and symptoms of depression are quite similar. While it is normal for a person to feel sad after a loss, the feelings associated with bereavement should be temporary.Your loved one may be depressed if:

  • It begins to feel better over time.
  • Your emotions begin to interfere and routine daily tasks.
  • It takes no pleasure in carrying out their favorite activities.
  • Mentioned or have suicidal thoughts.

If you notice any of these signs, talk to the family doctor of your loved one. Your doctor can help treat depression, so that your loved one can begin to feel better.

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