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Grieving the loss of loved ones and close friends can be an unfortunate and frequent experience with the senior population. Caregivers may see clients grieving in normal ways, and in some cases clients may have serious difficulties coping with a loss. A knowledgeable caregiver can recognize an abnormal grieving experience and intervene to help a senior cope.

The typical reaction to the loss of a family member or close friend includes disoriented thinking, sadness, an onset of new health problems, and reduced social functioning. All normal reactions to a loss and all normally last from a few months to a year.

Many people will move through some common stages of grief. Though not usually a linear process, the typical stages may be very clear to the observer, helping to trigger helpful reactions and assistance.

  • Denial- Can help because it give someone time to adjust to the loss
  • Anger- People may seem defensive and resentful
  • Bargaining- Usually brief, a griever may try to make deals, typically with God
  • Depression- A normal reaction to loss can reduce someone’s normal daily activity level
  • Acceptance- When someone is no longer depressed or angry, they can appear to have given up. This indicates that they have accepted the loss and can move on with living their life

Many times a caregiver simply needs to listen and provide emotional support to help someone cope with the loss of a loved one or friend. A caregiver needs to listen and exercise tolerance at all times when working with someone who’s grieving. Caregivers should look for abnormal signs of adapting to loss like extensive periods of depression (more than 2 months) that impact a person’s normal functioning. In those cases, professional help from a medical or psychiatric specialist should be sought immediately.

ALLWAYSHomeCareCaregiver Traininggrief,senior care
Grieving the loss of loved ones and close friends can be an unfortunate and frequent experience with the senior population. Caregivers may see clients grieving in normal ways, and in some cases clients may have serious difficulties coping with a loss. A knowledgeable caregiver can recognize an abnormal grieving...