Older adults experience loss at an accelerated rate due to changes in physical ability, health, living situation, and the deaths of close friends and loved ones. These losses are unbelievably hard to cope with, especially when more than one is experienced at a time. Losing one’s spouse, relative, or friend can be difficult to process. The people who we are close to play a major part in our lives and leave a vacuum when they leave. The period of bereavement is a stressful life event for anyone. Each person will experience bereavement in different ways and reactions to bereavement are strongly influenced by culture and ethnicity. Mourning a death for a days, weeks, or a few months is quite natural, but when it continues beyond this period and begins to interfere with one’s day to day functioning, one might need some extra support and professional help to come out of it. Elderly individuals losing their spouse or children are especially vulnerable and need various degrees of help and support.
Counselling lends a helping hand to the individual during the grieving process to help them walk through the five stages of grief – Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, Acceptance. The stages are not necessarily linear and one may revisit a stage or two or be unable to move beyond a particular stage. Seeking professional help can help give him/her a space to process his/her grief.
Worried that your loved one or you are having trouble dealing with bereavement?
- Do you repeatedly hear or see the loved one who has passed away?
- Have you had thoughts like you would be better off dead, or of hurting yourself in some way?
- Are you unable or unwilling to be emotional or feeling numb?
- Are you having trouble falling or staying asleep, or are sleeping too much?
- Are you experiencing reduced appetite, overeating, or considerable weight changes?
- Have you been avoiding meeting friends and family for an extended period of time?
If you have said yes to most of the above, we might be able to help you.
Treatments that can help you or your loved one: