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How can you help an older loved one manage grief?

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Someone going through grief will need a lot of support. You may notice changes in her emotions. These swings happen less often and ease up over time, but they can last for years. Respect what she's going through, and encourage self-care:

  • Listen to her talk about the person who died.
  • Make sure she eats well, gets enough sleep and exercise, and takes any medications.
  • Be patient.
  • Encourage counseling -- whether with a therapist, clergy (if the person is religious), or a social worker.

Cathy Alessi, MD, internist, geriatrics specialist; past president, American Geriatrics Society.

AARP: "5 Surprising Truths About Grief."

American Hospice Foundation: "Helping a Grieving Parent."

Bisconti, T. , 2004. The Journals of Gerontology: Psychological Sciences

The Kent Center for Human & Organizational Development: "Holmes Stress Point Scale."

Sara Honn Qualls, PhD, clinical psychologist, professor of psychology, director, Gerontology Center, University of Colorado, Colorado Springs.

Western Region Geriatric Care Management: "Older Driver Safety Awareness."

Windsor, T. , September 2006. Journal of Clinical Interventions in Aging

CDC: “Important Facts About Falls,” “Check for Safety: A Home Fall Prevention Checklist for Older Adults.”

Reviewed by Sabrina Felson on May 26, 2019

Cathy Alessi, MD, internist, geriatrics specialist; past president, American Geriatrics Society.

AARP: "5 Surprising Truths About Grief."

American Hospice Foundation: "Helping a Grieving Parent."

Bisconti, T. , 2004. The Journals of Gerontology: Psychological Sciences

The Kent Center for Human & Organizational Development: "Holmes Stress Point Scale."

Sara Honn Qualls, PhD, clinical psychologist, professor of psychology, director, Gerontology Center, University of Colorado, Colorado Springs.

Western Region Geriatric Care Management: "Older Driver Safety Awareness."

Windsor, T. , September 2006. Journal of Clinical Interventions in Aging

CDC: “Important Facts About Falls,” “Check for Safety: A Home Fall Prevention Checklist for Older Adults.”

Reviewed by Sabrina Felson on May 26, 2019

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What are some tips for balancing your work and caregiving?

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