May is Mental Health Awareness Month and it’s a good time to learn more about how grief impacts seniors. If you have a senior parent that has recently lost their spouse, they may be struggling with grief but unable to tell you about it. The loss of a partner is a profound one, especially if your parents were together for many years. Your senior parent may try to hide their grief or convince you that they are fine because they don’t want you to worry about them or don’t want to add to your grief. But grief and depression can become debilitating for seniors if they don’t get the right help and support such as companion care at home.
There are obvious signs of grief like crying, feeling hopeless, and wanting to surround themselves with the things of the person who has passed away. But there are also some subtle signs of grieving that your senior parent may be hiding from you. If you or an in-home care provider notices two or more of these signs of grief in your senior parent it may be a good idea to talk to them about getting professional help:
Not Wanting You To Leave When You Visit
It’s normal for a senior parent to not want you to leave when you visit, but if your aging parent has anxiety attacks or gets overly emotional when you have to leave that could be a cause for concern. If your parent calls you repeatedly frantic about your safety or not wanting to let you out of their sight their behavior could be their grief being expressed as anxiety. They are afraid to let you out of their sight because they are afraid to lose you also.
Getting Sick Or Injured
No one really knows why but after sustaining a big loss like the loss of a partner people, especially seniors, are more likely to become ill or injure themselves. If you notice that your remaining senior parent is falling a lot or having a lot of accidents that could be grief. It could also be grief if they keep getting sick with mysterious ailments but the doctors can’t seem to find a cause. The impact of grief can manifest in odd ways.
If your senior parent stops taking an interest in hobbies that they used to enjoy or if they don’t want to leave the house it could be due to grief. After a loss, they may feel like they need to protect themselves from future loss by isolating themselves from family and friends. If you notice that your senior parent is turning down invitations to see family and friends and doesn’t want anyone to come over and see them don’t let them stay isolated. Make sure that you are reaching over that divide to stay connected to them so that they don’t slip into isolation.
Not Being Able To Focus
Seniors who are trying to deal with the loss of a partner may suddenly make mistakes paying bills, forget to refill prescriptions or be unable to focus on household tasks. In-home care can help keep the household running smoothly until your senior loved one is able to focus again.
If you or an aging loved-one are considering hiring Companion Care at Home in Lincoln, CA, talk to the caring staff at Partners in Care today. Serving El Dorado, Nevada, Yuba, Sutter, Sacramento, Placer, Butte, Glenn, Yolo, & Colusa Counties!
Call us 24 hours a day, 7 days a week! (530) 268-7423
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