How to Recognize the Signs of Anticipatory versus Conventional Grief

April 16th, 2015 by John Wilson

Learn to deal with anticipatory grief when caring for the elderly.

Caring for the elderly means helping them overcome grief.

Grief may be a normal part of life, but when you’re caring for the elderly with senior health issues, the feelings can take on a new level. For seniors, the idea of losing those close to them, as well as the reality of death, can become overwhelming. Recognizing the signs of anticipatory versus conventional grief for those living in senior citizen assisted living in OKC will ensure you know how to help your loved one through it.

What Is Anticipatory Grief?

Anticipatory grief refers to feelings of sadness and depression caused by the idea of losing a loved one. This type of grief occurs more frequently in the elderly because the people who are close to them may be suffering from serious medical conditions and are closer to passing away. This is in contrast to the conventional grief that often takes place after a loved one is no longer with us. However, this doesn’t make the grief any less real or problematic.

The Signs of Anticipatory Grief

It can often be more difficult to identify anticipatory grief when caring for the elderly. This is because it occurs before a loved one has passed away and you may not be looking for signs. One of the biggest symptoms that differ greatly from conventional grief is fear. The thought of living without a loved one can quickly become overwhelming. Because the loved one has not yet passed away, these feelings are often difficult to overcome. Some of the other symptoms of anticipatory grief include:

Many of these symptoms mirror conventional grief so it’s important to monitor seniors regularly so you can help them manage the symptoms.

How to Handle Anticipatory Grief

As senior health issues become more prominent, it’s important to learn how you can help seniors get through this trying time in their lives. Some suggestions for handling this type of grief include:

Losing a loved one is never easy. However, as senior health issues become more prevalent and the chances of losing a love done increases, it can be easy to fall victim to anticipatory grief. This grief occurs before the loss and is more likely to exist for longer periods of time. This makes it more detrimental to quality of life. When caring for the elderly, it’s important to watch for these signs so you can step in and help.

If you’re looking for senior citizen assisted living in OKC, contact us. Our facility is equipped to help the elderly make the most of their senior years.

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