Community Blog

How to Provide Care for a Grieving Elderly Parent

By Ketan Shah

Elderly Care in Saratoga CA

Trying to console your elderly parent who has lost a spouse, child, or other loved one is never easy. Not only are you trying to help your loved cope with this loss in their life, but you are also trying to grieve for your own loss at the same time.

Your parent will need you now more than ever. They may process this loss differently than you do, but it is important they are getting the attention they need and are being listened to as they share the various emotions they are feeling. It may also help to reminisce over the good memories the elder has had with that person. If you are unable to provide the care and attention the elder needs at this time, you may want to consider hiring an elderly care aide. Here are a few other ways you can provide the care they need, while having the opportunity to grieve.

Prepare for the grief to be delayed

If the death was sudden and unexpected, the senior may be in shock. It may not seem real to them until many weeks later. If your parent does not react to the loss immediately, they may still be in a state of disbelief. Even if he does not seem affected over the loss, you should be prepared for the grief to hit them later on.

Visit the doctor

Grief can cause the immune system to become weaker, making it easier for elders to get colds or other illnesses. Encourage your parent to make a doctor’s appointment to so that they can monitor their health during this difficult transition in their life.

Be patient

There is no timeline for grief. Sometimes it can last a week or two, while others can take more than a year. What your parent needs the most from you is compassion and understanding over what they are going through. Be available to let them share their feelings whenever they feel the need to do so.

Symptoms of Grief

Being able to determine if a loved one is grieving is not always easy to do. The most common symptoms of someone who is grieving includes:

  • Unable to concentrate
  • Becomes increasingly forgetful
  • Lack of motivation
  • Increasingly disorganized

Give your loved one plenty of time and love as they are coping with their loss. They may also appreciate your help with chores around their home or to have meals cooked for them. There is no quick fix to getting over the grieving process.

Just try to be available whenever your loved one needs you.


If you or an aging loved one are considering hiring in-home elderly care in Saratoga, CA, please contact the caring staff at Home Helpers today (408) 259-5930.