Lifelong friends share a history together, a long past filled with special memories. When that unique bond is shattered, the loss can leave the survivor feeling like the future will never be quite the same. Deep feelings of loss, sadness and even guilt can be challenging for anyone to process, but for seniors, grief can be hard on the health as well. Here are some things to keep in mind as you help your elderly loved one more forward.
Acknowledging the Loss
When a senior doesn’t express feelings of grief, family members may assume that their loved one has accepted the loss. It’s common, however, for seniors to experience grief without being able to express the emotion. Your loved one may be trying to spare you from worry or may believe that showing emotions is a sign of weakness. Letting your family know that you feel compassion for the loss of a lifelong friend can open up the conversation.
Establishing New Relationships
Feelings of loneliness can intensify after the loss of an old friend. Whether sharing new experiences or favorite pastimes, building new relationships will help your loved one feel less alone. If you can’t spend more time with your family member yourself, New Hampshire in-home health care services can offer valuable companionship. When seniors have other strong relationships to sustain them in times of grief, they’re less likely to succumb to feelings of isolation and loneliness.
Ask your family member questions that will bring up happy memories and feelings about the lifelong friend. Research has shown that people who demonstrate positive emotions when describing relationships with lost loved ones are healthier than those who express sadness or anger. Your loved one can find comfort by realizing that though a lifelong friend has passed, the emotional connection that your family member had with the friend endures.
If you are interested in learning more about companion care, contact Home Care Assistance of New Hampshire today. While companionship can be the only service scheduled, our caregivers can also assist with activities of daily living and can provide emotional support for seniors during this difficult time.
To learn more about flexible hourly and live-in care in New Hampshire, reach out to a Care Manager at 603-471-3004 and learn how we can help your aging parent or loved one.