Owners' Blog

What Is Anticipatory Grief?

By Hilary and Greg Eldridge

You might find yourself in a quandary at some point in your caregiving journey. You may be feeling all the hallmarks of grief and yet your elderly family member is still right there with you. This is called anticipatory grief and it's just as real as other forms of grief.

The Situation Is Bad, but it Will Be Worse

Part of what makes anticipatory grief so very awful is that the situation now seems pretty bad. In the future, however, you know that it will actually get much worse for both your elderly family member and you. The problem is that you are already braced for what's coming and it's affecting your actions and reactions now, which is why this is called anticipatory grief.

Emotions Run the Gamut

During this time, your emotions are likely going to run across the entire spectrum. You'll have moments when you accept what is happening and what will happen, but you may have just as many moments when you're in denial about what is going on. Sadness, anger, and even depression might make an appearance as well.

Deal with Your Emotions

The key to getting through this time is to actually deal with your emotions as they pop up. If you don't have a means of dealing with them effectively, your emotions are going to run the show for you. You'll need to start becoming aware of what you're feeling and when you're feeling it so that you can respond to it appropriately.

Get Help if You Need It

One of the best ways that you can get through this time is to ask for help when you find that you need it. This can take the form of joining a support group or talking to a therapist when your emotions are doing you in or it can take more practical forms. You might want to consider hiring elderly care providers or make sure that you've got help from friends and family when you need to take time away.

The better your plan is for dealing with anticipatory grief, the easier it will be for you to get through this stage of your caregiving journey. The goal is to give you a better means of enjoying the time that you have left with your elderly family member.

If you or an aging loved one are considering hiring elderly care in Johns Creek, GA, please contact the caring staff at Home Helpers, call (678) 430-8511.