Moving On When A Senior’s Spouse Has Died
Change can be tough for anyone to handle, especially after so many years of being used to a situation. That’s why many seniors have trouble handling change. They get into a routine that can last for decades.
So when a senior loses their husband or wife, they’re facing an immense change. Even if they can magically get past the grief associated with the death of a spouse, they are facing one of the biggest changes in their lives. Now, they have to move on alone.
Thankfully, there are ways to help seniors emerge from this huge change successfully. Yes, it is possible to move on after a spouse has died.
The Gap In Their Life
One thing to remember about grieving over the death is that this is a process, not an event. That means dealing with this loss will take time and cannot be instantly cured by a better event. It also means that everybody will deal with this on their own pace; there’s no set time that a senior will suddenly be over things.
Also, you need to know that men and women sometimes react differently to that new gap in their life. Both are in pain and need support, of course. But some men will be at a loss for household chores normally done by their wife, whereas some women can worry about feeling safe at home with the loss of their husband.
Making Sure Homelife Will Work
How can you help a senior coping with the loss of their spouse? Rather than trying to fix them or create the one thing that makes it all better, start by focusing on the senior’s daily life.
For example, look into having essential things delivered to their home. Most seniors take medicine of some kind, so having them dropped off can make sure the widow remembers to take them. Hiring a housekeeper can be a huge help, especially if the spouse who passed on did most of the cleaning. Just knowing that a housekeeper will come by to wash some dishes and vacuum the rugs can help with their mood.
You can also look into technologies that help seniors live alone at home. A tablet or smartphone with a strong camera can lead to video chats that help reduce loneliness, while a Fitbit can help seniors (and you) keep an eye on fitness and health.
Taking Control Of The Grief
Because this is a process that takes time, there isn’t any panacea or cure-all for the depression that follows the loss of a loved one. However, there are a few things most everyone can do to take control of that grief.
- Make sure the surviving spouse is taking care of themself. That means exercising, eating right, taking medications, and getting enough sleep.
- Build a positive social circle around the widow. Having a good friend to help take their mind off things can make a huge difference.
- Avoid making any major life decisions such as moving. Right now, stability and predictability are much more important.
They Can Move On
At first, moving on might seem impossible. There are just too many things to think about. However, by understanding how the grief process works, the senior can get a handle on it. Then by making a few improvements to their daily life and gaining control over grief, that senior can emerge from this huge change soon enough.