3 Ways Grief Makes Seniors Sick

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The loss of a loved one impacts the lives of the entire family, but it is particularly hard on seniors and older adults. Recognizing the potential problems that can arise when an elderly man or woman is grieving the loss of a loved one helps family caregivers in Tampa determine the appropriate response to help them recover.

1. Depression 

Developing depression during grief is not unusual at any age. For an older individual, the stress and worries associated with the loss of a spouse, child or another close relative can result in anxiety or depression.

Allowing a loved one to grieve is essential, but encourage a senior loved one to seek help if depression persists or is harming his or her physical wellbeing. Be on the look out for symptoms including a lack of interest in hobbies, social withdrawal, decreased (or substantially increased) appetite, and irritability.

2. Physical Sickness or Illness 

Although depression is an expected response after losing a close relative at any age, physical sickness and illness will generally impact older men and women more directly when compared to younger individuals.

Physical illness in seniors directly relates to the stress hormones associated with the grieving process. The immune system cannot handle the high amount of stress and exposure to germs often results in an infection or sickness.

3. Cognitive Difficulties 

After your loved one loses a close friend or relative, it might seem like he or she needs Tampa dementia care, but that’s because grieving interferes with normal cognitive function. Individuals find it difficult to think straight and become more forgetful. For seniors, the symptoms can persist and make it hard to focus on other tasks.

Grieving has a negative impact on physical and emotional wellbeing. In some cases, seniors develop symptoms of physical ailments or face challenges with their emotional and mental health. When grieving causes concerns about a senior’s wellbeing, consider professional treatment to help cope with the loss of a loved one.

For more information on senior mental and emotional health, reach out to a Care Manager at Tampa Home Care Assistance in Tampa, FL. We offer flexible hourly and live-in care services, and our reliable caregivers can help around the home, prepare meals, and provide emotional support and companionship when your senior loved one needs it most. Schedule a no-obligation consultation today by calling (727) 330-7862.