Is Your Parent Not Getting Through Their Grief Effectively?

Posted: 4/30/2017 6:53 AM by Interim HealthCare
Grief is something that virtually everyone will have to face and get through at some point in their lives. This loss of an important person can be extremely painful and a difficult phase to push through, but as a family caregiver it is critical that you are prepared to help your parent deal with their loss in an effective and healthy way so that they can move forward and enjoy a lifestyle that is safe, comfortable, healthy, happy, and tailored toward greater fulfillment and enjoyment in life as they age in place.

While grief is difficult for everyone, some people struggle to work through the stages of this process. This can lead to serious mental and emotional consequences that can diminish their quality of life throughout their later years. Recognizing that they are having this difficulty is the first step in helping your parent to cope with this difficulty and move forward with their life.

Some things to look out for when determining if your aging parent is not getting through their grief effectively include:
• Lasting sleep disturbances
• Nightmares or night terrors that involve memories of the person or the person’s death
• Intrusive memories that negatively impact their daily life several weeks or months after the loss
• Marked weight loss or weight gain
• Seeming lack of grieving characterized by your aging parent not showing the normal signs of grieving, such as crying, feeling sad, or expressing the sense of loss
• Hostility or aggression toward others
• Development or increase in panic attacks or irrational fears
• Self-destructive or self-harming behaviors
• Starting to ignore basic safety precautions or putting themselves in dangerous situations
• Loss of interest in things that they once enjoyed
• Not wanting to do anything to bring closure to the situation, such as clearing out clothing or other personal affects, even months after the death
• Only wanting to talk about the person or the death, to the detriment of other things in their life
• Constantly talking about what could have been, the things that they will never be able to do, or the guilt that they feel regarding the loss.

Starting elder care for your aging parent can be an exceptional way for you to help your elderly parent as they are working through their grief at losing their spouse. An elderly home care services provider can be with your aging parent on a customized schedule to ensure that they have access to all of the support, care, and assistance that they might need to help them manage their individual needs, challenges, and limitations, as well as to help them to achieve and maintain a higher quality of life even in this difficult time. Even if your parent has lost their spouse many years before, they might still be struggling with the challenge of not having that person in their life, and the highly personalized care of an elder care provider can help them to stay healthy, safe, and comfortable while also maintaining as much independence as possible and seeking a lifestyle that is active, engaged, and fulfilling.

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