Senior Care Blog Wayland and Weston

Tips for Helping Your Parent Cope with Loss During Worldwide Bereaved Spouses Awareness Month

By Denise Roskamp

If you are a family caregiver for an elderly family member, one reality that you are going to encounter is loss. While this is something that you do not want to think about and that will not be easy to handle, accepting early in your journey that dealing with this challenging life issue is going to be a part of the care that you give to them is critical to helping you prepare for this and give your loved one the best care possible. April is Worldwide Bereaved Spouses Awareness Month. This is the perfect time for you to acknowledge the impact that the loss of their spouse has had on your parent and how you can help them to coping with this loss. This can help them to maintain better mental and emotional health, and to find greater meaning and value in this new chapter in their lives.

Use these tips to help your parent cope with loss during Worldwide Bereaved Spouses Awareness Month and throughout the rest of their care journey:

• Talk about their spouse. It might feel uncomfortable or even painful to talk about the lost parent, but that does not mean that you should avoid it. Talking about them is a way to continue treasuring their memory and to keep good things in your mind about them rather than only focusing on the sadness of their loss.

• Share your own emotions. Be open and honest with your parent about the emotions that you are struggling with. This will help them to feel more comfortable sharing what they are going through without feeling as though they are being overly dramatic or dwelling.

• Respect their journey. Everybody works through grief in their own way and on their own time. While there can be problems with not moving through the stages of grief in a healthy way, there is no set speed or timeline at which they need to “recover” from their grief. Respect how they are moving through their grief and do not try to push or force them to “get over it”. If you feel that they are struggling or are dealing with more serious consequences such as depression, do not hesitate to get in touch with a medical professional to help them handle it more effectively.

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.