Bereavement can lead to feelings of confusion in everyone, but for the elderly this can be more intense, with bouts of forgetfulness, disorientation and disorganisation. Losing a loved one might lead to major life changes.
The seven emotional stages of grief are usually understood to be shock or disbelief, denial, bargaining, guilt, anger, depression, and acceptance/hope.
The elderly also experience loss and grief as they begin to have a diminished ability in activities of daily living. This then can cause the elderly to lose a sense of purpose. “The psychologic context of loss is different for the elderly , compared with that for younger people ,” said Dr.
The heartbreak of grief can increase blood pressure and the risk of blood clots. Intense grief can alter the heart muscle so much that it causes “broken heart syndrome,” a form of heart disease with the same symptoms as a heart attack. Stress links the emotional and physical aspects of grief .
Bereavement can have a devastating impact on the immune systems of seniors , and may explain why many older spouses soon die after the loss of their loved ones. Studies show that one reason is that a type of white blood cell, the neutrophil, can be weakened.
When you’re grieving , a flood of neurochemicals and hormones dance around in your head. “There can be a disruption in hormones that results in specific symptoms, such as disturbed sleep, loss of appetite, fatigue and anxiety,” says Dr. Phillips. When those symptoms converge, your brain function takes a hit.
You may go over the death multiple times in your mind, wondering if there was something you could have done differently, or some way you could have prevented the inevitable. The bargaining phase goes hand in hand with guilt, and this can be the most difficult aspect of grief for many of us.
The stages of denial, anger , bargaining, depression and acceptance give a structure by which an understanding of the process of grieving can be achieved. The second stage of grief that is often described is that of anger .
Acceptance . The last stage of grief identified by Kübler-Ross is acceptance . Not in the sense that “it’s okay my husband died” rather, “my husband died, but I’m going to be okay.” In this stage, your emotions may begin to stabilize. You re-enter reality.
Moving on with life Talk about the death of your loved one with friends or colleagues in order to help you understand what happened and remember your friend or family member. Accept your feelings. Take care of yourself and your family. Reach out and help others dealing with the loss.
The most frequent immediate response following death , regardless of whether or not the loss was anticipated, is shock, numbness, and a sense of disbelief. Subjectively, survivors may feel like they are wrapped in a cocoon or blanket; to others, they may look as though they are holding up well.
They may develop fears of their parents dying and continue to feel guilty if a loved one dies. Middle Adulthood : Those in middle adulthood report more fear of death than those in either early and late adulthood . The caretaking responsibilities for those in middle adulthood is a significant factor in their fears.
Grief hurts because others don’t understand. Well-meaning people say some unhelpful things. Our grief often triggers their unresolved pain , or perhaps stirs their fears of what might happen to them. They get uncomfortable, and they pull away.
Do some deep abdominal breathing. It will help reset your nervous system and calm you down. Take a deep breath and inhale good energy. Release the breath and exhale all the toxicity from your body.
“Therefore you too have grief now; but I will see you again, and your heart will rejoice, and no one will take your joy away from you. God is our refuge and strength, A very present help in trouble. The righteous man perishes, and no one lays it to heart; devout men are taken away, while no one understands.