When your senior loved one loses a spouse, they experience complicated emotions. If the death occurred after a protracted illness, relief might be one of the emotions alongside grief. Each person is unique. While there's no right or wrong way to cope with the loss, steps such as reconnecting with old friends, moving into senior living, and adopting a pet are often helpful. Seniors also benefit from talking with a mental health professional, focusing on self-care, and prioritizing their physical health in Brooklyn.
1. Encourage Socialization and Reconnecting With Others.
Grief causes some people to turn inward. Give your loved one their space, but encourage them to join you on outings to the movies and the local senior center. Invite them to your home for a meal.
2. Discuss Moving Into a Senior Living Community
After some time has passed, discuss with your loved one the possibility of moving into senior living. An assisted living community or nursing home facility provides plenty of opportunities for socialization, physical movement, entertainment, mental stimulation, and assistance with the activities of daily living. Fortunately, Brooklyn offers many options.
Seniors tend to be against moving at first, especially since it means another loss so soon after their spouse’s death. First, the death, and now losing their home. Frame the possible move in terms of gain, not loss. For instance, your loved one gains friends and the ability to skip many chores.
Research at least three communities in the area. Find out about pricing and payment options. Read facility reports and reviews from other families. Ask your loved one to join you on visits to these facilities. Emphasize they're just visits, nothing requiring a commitment.
3. Adopt a Pet
Adopting a pet can work wonders because seniors get an instant companion to love and keep them busy. Of course, pets aren't always appropriate, so use your judgment. Look at the support system surrounding your loved one and whether others are available to help care for a pet. If a move to assisted living or nursing rehab seems likely, research places with pet-friendly policies.
Keep in mind that seniors are high fall risks and can suffer serious injuries. The pet selection process must be strategic to minimize the fall dangers. Luckily, opportunities abound in Brooklyn and nearby.
For example, Brooklyn Animal Action can help you find senior-friendly pets. So can Animal Care Centers of NYC, which runs a Seniors for Seniors program. It matches dogs and cats older than six years with humans who are 60 or older. The program considers seniors' housing situation and lifestyle and waives adoption fees.
Helping Seniors Deal With Complex Feelings After a Loss
There are many ways you can help loved ones sift through grief after a devastating loss. Visit Dr. David Salvage's website to book a talk therapy appointment for you or your loved ones.