Did you know that more than six million Americans over the age of 65 suffer from depression? Unfortunately many of these cases go untreated or unacknowledged simply because apathy and isolation are oftentimes associated with aging. However, as we grow older we are more frequently faced with death and departing loved ones. Coping with death and loss is much different for the elderly than it is for people of a younger age. Your aging parent may experience a series of losses in a very short time – friends, family members, and even a spouse. As they grieve, it’s important to help them avoid isolation and keep them engaged in life. Here are some tips from Home Care Assistance of Greater Hartford on how to help seniors cope with death while fighting off depression.
When a person over 50 loses their spouse, they have a 66 percent greater chance of passing within the next three months. If you’re helping your parent deal with loss, try to share your own grieving process with them so they know they’re not alone.
Plan for Important Dates
The elderly are more likely to attach importance to anniversaries, birthdays, and holidays that commemorate the people they’ve lost. If you know there’s a date coming up that will be hard for your aging parent, try to plan something special to do with them that day. Distractions can be positive and give them new focus.
Talk about Memories
Everyone copes differently, but many elderly will benefit from reminiscing about the good times they had with their loved ones. Keeping loved ones who have passed away alive through pictures, scrapbooks, mementos, and conversations can help them feel more comforted about death in general.
It’s easy for an aging parent to feel overcome with loss. Not only are they coping with death on a more frequent basis, but they’re also confronted with their own vitality. There’s no better time to get the physical and emotional support that an experienced and trained 24/7 caregiver in West Hartford can provide. For the times when you can’t be with your aging loved one, a trusted caregiver can be. For information on how our hourly and 24/7 caregivers can assist seniors going through a period of grief, call 860-323-3462 today.