Loss of loved ones becomes more common as we age causing grief and often despair. People suffer loss and grief differently, but it may be especially profound for elderly people as they often suffer multiple losses within any given time frame. At this time in life, not only do they experience the loss of friends and relatives, even adult children, but the experience of leaving a beloved home and furnishings or leaving/losing a pet can bring on terrible pain and a crippling sense of despair.
Elderly people often think and fret about death and dying as a reflection of the awareness of their own mortality. This fretting often presents itself as depression, loneliness, and sadness. But dying is not the only loss elderly people face. As a person ages he or she may suffer the loss of a spouse or partner, siblings, parents, financial security, independence, loss of cognitive functioning, social contacts, and even loss of youthful physical appearance, and agility.
Grief in Five Stages
Nearly everyone is familiar with the Loss and Grief model proposed by Dr. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross, in her 1969 book “On Death and Dying.” In it she makes the case that the stages of loss and grief are universal, experienced by people from all walks of life. The stages are identified as Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, and Acceptance
While not all people experience all the stages, nor in this specific order, almost everyone will experience at least two of these in some form or another and often several at the same time.
Our caring, sympathetic Silver Linings Counselors are highly experienced in helping Seniors deal with grief and loss through all the stages. We encourage acceptance, and offer comfort in your time of need and a shoulder to lean on, at the same time teaching coping skills, and honoring your individual grieving rituals. When grief and loss do come into your life, we are here to make sure you are able to cope without it becoming a more serious health concern.