Posted on: 16 May 2017Share
If a senior you care for just lost their spouse, then you may wonder just what you can do for them to help them get through the grieving process in a healthy way. Of course, the loss of a spouse is difficult emotionally for a person of any age, but it can take a bigger toll on the elderly both mentally and physically. The process of grieving puts stress on the mind and body, and since seniors are already more prone to health problems due to simple old age, their physical health can suffer after the loss of a spouse if they are not encouraged to take the right steps to stay healthy.
Read on to learn two tips for helping your elderly loved one stay in good health after the death of their spouse.
1. Encourage Your Loved One to Join a Grief Support Group
It is important to encourage your loved one to discuss their feelings during the grieving process, especially if they seem to be quieter than usual. In addition, seniors who have lost their spouses can begin to thrive mentally again after they build new social networks, especially if they tended to spend most of their time with their spouse while they were alive.
To help your elderly loved one both voice their feelings during the grieving process and meet other seniors they can form lasting friendships with, encourage them to join a local grief support group. If they seem hesitant to go, remind them that they can simply listen if they choose to and don't have to talk any more than they choose. However, don't be surprised if you find that your senior loved one begins to look forward to their group meetings due to the good friends they make that help fill their "emotional void" during this difficult time.
2. Have a Home Health Care Service Visit Them on a Regular Schedule
During the 30 days following the loss of a spouse, the risk of a heart attack or stroke doubles among people ages 60-89. This makes it very important for someone to keep an eye on your loved one's habits during this time and ensure they are eating healthy and engaging in heart-healthy activities.
While you may wish you could prepare meals for your senior loved one and provide them the other extra care they need during this time, you likely lead a busy lifestyle and may not know exactly how to help them most right now.
However, you can help your senior seek help from a home health care service that can have a nurse visit them on a regular schedule to check their vital signs and have other staff visit them to prepare healthy meals, help them clean up around the house, and offer any other needed health and/or household services.
In addition to helping your senior stay healthy physically during this tough time, your loved one's home health care worker can also be there to lend an ear to your loved one; you may find that they end up loving their visits from their favorite home health worker that they form a close bond with.
If you have an elderly loved one who just lost a spouse, then follow these two tips to help support them get through the grieving process in a healthy way. Check out sites like http://www.inyourhomecares.com/ for more information.