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Senior Grief

Losing a loved one is difficult at any age. As an older adult, you may have also experienced the death of loved ones in the past. However, each time you lose someone special, there is a distinct journey of grief, and this loss may come with unique difficulties.

In addition to coping with loss, you may have health or other concerns that can come with age. If you have lost a family member, there may be multiple layers to grief within your family, and you may feel additional pain and hurt from watching other family members or your children grieve. 

The pain of loss can be overwhelming, and it is important to remember that there is no timeline for grief.  In many cases, loneliness can be a factor if you are isolated.  You may want to reach out to family, friends, faith and community groups for support.  Additionally, you may need the assistance of others if transportation or mobility limitations are a barrier to gathering with others.  

Self-care when grieving

Take care of your health. Grief can be hard on your physical health, especially for older adults. It can help to exercise regularly, eat nutritious food, and try to get enough sleep.

Take time to adjust. Go at a comfortable pace and be easy on yourself. There is no rush to do certain activities. However, it may be helpful to maintain the important parts of your routine.

Rely on your support system. Let family and friends know when you want to talk about your loved one. They may be grieving too and may welcome the chance to share memories. When possible, accept their offers of help and company.

Outings and activities. Find an activity that you like to do such as reading, sports, crafts, travel, or music. You may have fun and meet people who like to do the same thing.

See your doctor. Keep up with visits to your healthcare provider. If it has been a while, schedule a physical and bring your doctor up to date on any pre-existing medical conditions and any new health issues that may be of concern. Let your healthcare provider know if you are having trouble taking care of your everyday activities, like getting dressed or fixing meals.

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