Seniors & Grief: Adjusting to Life Without a Loved One

Grief is a complex emotional response to loss that can manifest physically, emotionally, and psychologically.

Grief and loss are a universal human experience, but for seniors, navigating the loss of a loved one can present unique challenges. As we age, our relationships often take on even deeper significance, making the loss of a partner, friend, or family member especially profound.

While a common experience, grief doesn’t have a ‘right’ expression and can manifest in various ways, including:

• sadness

• anger

• fatigue

• denial

• changes in appetite

• changes sleep patterns

• loneliness

• isolation

• depression

It’s crucial to acknowledge the pain being felt and deal with it in order to adjust to the situation in a healthy manner.

Coping strategies for seniors in this season can include:

• Creative self expression (writing, art, music etc.)

• Maintaining routine

• Attending support groups

• Seeking counselling services

• Trying new hobbies or enjoying old ones

Life at Scalabrini means that residents experiencing grief and loss are looked after by our Wellbeing team that runs a range of activities in the villages, as well as our pastoral care team made up of Religious Sisters.

Adjusting to life without a loved one is hard, but possible with a good support system in place. Coping with grief, especially in our senior years, can be a transformative journey that requires patience, self-compassion, and support from others.