Death is a natural part of life. As people get older, they experience more people they know pass away, including many of their loved ones. This can be a very painful for the person and it’s okay to be sad.
Reasons for grief
Older people grieve for many different reasons. Some of the common reasons for grief are listed below.
1. Death of loved ones: As mentioned previously, death is one of the main reasons for grief in older people. Losing people you know and love is extremely hard especially since it’s the people who know you best. This may lead to the person not being able to confide or talk to anyone about what’s bothering them.
2. Isolation: Some people may feel lonely and neglected because their families don’t visit them often or they aren’t able to move around very well because of disability.
3. Ageing: As adults age, their bodies begin to deteriorate and they begin needing help to do things such as walking or shopping. They may feel helpless, useless or as a burden to the person who is helping them.
4. Retirement: Some people feel lost when they retire from their jobs. They don’t know what to do with their lives or what’s ahead of them.
Grieving people may experience many emotions, including:
•Shock •Denial •Anger
•Guilt •Hopelessness •Sadness
Usually when people are grieving, their emotions constantly change from one to the next.
When to get help
Though feeling sad when people die is normal, during that period of time, there will occasionally still be happy moments. However, this gets more serious if the person is constantly sad for a longer period of time such as for more than a few months. This is known as depression. If the adult has any symptoms of depression, then it’s time to get help.
Though grief and depression are similar, depression has some other symptoms listed below which make it stand out.
- Constantly blaming themselves for the loss
- Thoughts of suicide or dying
- Feeling worthless
- Unable to do normal activities such as work or play
- Slow speech and body movement
1. Give the person time to grieve: Sometimes the adult just needs time to deal with his or her feelings. This shows that you respect the person and his or her space.
2. Spend time with the person: Show that you’re there to support this person no matter what.
3. Watch for signs of depression: Depression is serious and the person needs to get help from a doctor right away. They may not notice that they have depression themselves so you'll have to help in making sure they’re okay!