No one should have to endure the death of a son or daughter. It is a pain that never goes away. We have worked with seniors who have lost their child years, or even decades, earlier, and the grief is still raw and ever-present. That's why, to commemorate Bereaved Parents month, which is July, we wanted to share some constructive tips for helping seniors cope with this life-altering tragedy.
Let them talk: The subject of death makes everyone uncomfortable, which means many people would prefer not to talk about it. However, parents who have lost a child – at any age – often feel even more heartbroken when it feels like their child's memory is being swept under the rug. If you get the sense that an older person in your life would like to talk about their departed loved one, try to listen with a patient and compassionate heart.
During this time, it is wise to follow this guideline for understanding how much you should talk about your own experiences. If you're worried about what to say, here are some helpful hints.
But, respect their privacy: Of course, sometimes it is just too difficult for seniors to revisit those memories, and that's okay, too. Let them know that you're there for them if they want to talk, but don't push it.
Honor the deceased's memory: Consider offering to do something with the senior that they used to enjoy doing with their child, such as shopping or going to a sporting event. Obviously, you can't take the place of their loved one, but you can help the senior relive some of the good times they shared together. If that's too much, there are plenty of other ways to memorialize the departed, including planting a tree, cooking their favorite meal, or even just looking at old photos.
For more information about the health and well-being of seniors, please contact us!
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