Is Grief Taking A Toll On Older Caregivers?
Caring for someone with dementia is stressful. You already know that. What you may not know is how grief is a large component of the stress caregivers feel.
We expect and anticipate grief when there’s a sudden loss like a death. But caring for a loved one with dementia is a grieving twilight zone. The loved one isn’t gone; but they’re not there either. Not the way they used to be. Caring for someone with dementia can lead to prolonged grieving.
Grief effects health
And grief has adverse effects on heath. Especially for older adults. Age changes how the body’s immune system responds to grief. Older adults are less resilient, and more susceptible to infection and illness. They’re at high risk for depression and other health issues. Compound the stress of grief with the physical demands of caregiving and an older caregiver gets a double whammy.
Do you know an elderly person who’s also a caregiver? He or she may be coping with an avalanche of losses. Their life and loved one aren’t anything like they wanted or expected. They could be experiencing unrecognized grief.
National Grief Awareness Day: Thursday, August 30th
Use this day as a reminder to support someone you care about who may be experiencing grief. Be a listening ear and share time with him or her. Give a helping hand with chores and shopping. Let them know you’re there for them.
There is help. Visit our resource page or call if you're concerned for yourself or someone you know.