As any home care provider can attest, it is normal and healthy to grieve the loss of a loved one. It is one of the most challenging experiences faced and also one of the most common. If you provide care for an elderly loved one, that loved one has known several people who have passed on. When that lost person is someone your parent was incredibly close to, such as a family member or spouse, the grief can seem like it’ll last for an eternity.
Normal grief does get better, though. Everyone’s timeline is different, but you should see improvements if you’re walking alongside a parent who is grieving a loss over time (maybe weeks or months). Caregivers, such as home care providers, should also be able to see those changes.
But sometimes, a person gets stuck in what is called complicated grief. With complicated grief, those typical symptoms of grief don’t improve. They get worse and perhaps even debilitating. Complicated grief puts your parent in a constant intense state of mourning that prevents your parent from healing.
Signs and symptoms of complicated grief are sometimes hard to differentiate from normal grief. Still, if you or your parent’s home care provider or other family members notice any of these symptoms, your parent may be overwhelmed by grief and unable to heal on her own.
Problems accepting the death
If your parent is still in denial that the person who died is dead, she may suffer from complicated grief. While denial is often one of the first stages of grief, it is not one a person should be lingering in.
Inability to focus on anything else other than the death of the loved one
If you have noticed the inability of your parent to discuss anything other than the death of her loved one, she might need some help. She should be able to discuss health matters with her home care provider, the weather with a postal delivery person, and have silly conversations with her grandchildren even when grieving.
Intense sorrow and pain that interferes with other activities
It’s normal to cry and be sad while grieving. And it’s normal sometimes to withdraw and shut down for a while, but if your elderly parent can no longer make a meal or go for her daily walk with her home care provider, her grief is overwhelmingly affecting her day-to-day living.
Occasionally, those with complicated grief get to a point where they can’t imagine living any longer. This is a severe health condition and needs to be addressed immediately with a professional.
Walking alongside someone in regular grieving periods can be challenging. Having a loved one suffer from complicated grief can be scary and exhausting. Seek professional guidance to help your parent heal and move on from the death of her loved one. If you don’t have home care assistance, it can be a great time to introduce a home care provider. They can help your parent through the grieving process by encouraging and assisting in daily activities.
If you or an aging loved one are considering hiring Home Care in Smithtown, NY, please call the caring staff at Companion Home Care of Long Island. Senior Home Care, serving Suffolk, Nassau, and Queens Counties. Turn your questions into answers. Call Today (631) 884-0005