Understanding Your Aging Parent’s Grief
Aging is a natural, beautiful and gracious process; however, it does not come without its own set of trials and challenges. A lot of younger people have trouble understanding why their parents or older loved ones resent living on their own so much.
Oftentimes, when people connect with us to inquire about assisted or independent living amenities for seniors in our community, one of the reasons for doing so is loneliness. What often lies under this loneliness is a strange yet undeniable sense of grief. A heaviness of sorts.
If you haven’t crossed the age of sixty and hasn’t struggled with psychological difficulties such as clinical depression, this might be hard for you to get your head around.
Coming From a Place of Compassion
You might be thinking that you provide your parent with whatever they need by way of utilities. Maybe you’ve bought them a beautiful house and have paid for staff and support as well. Maybe you have hired a professional nurse or care giver to look after them. You might even pay them visits once or twice a month when you have the time and have offered them to come spend time with you when they like.
What else could you do right? Why then do they still seem so sad or low so very often?
Put yourself in their shoes for a minute and give it some thought. What could it be?
What Lies Behind the Greif of a Senior Loved One
According to some sources grief and sadness increasing as we age is an inevitability. Think about it. When you have seen the world for decades, the good, the bad, all of it, when you have survived trials that have changed you and when you have done what you needed to do, how may you feel?
Besides all that, there is the possibility of having to contend with a changing physical state. You know you’re not as fast, strong or agile as you used to be. You feel like you might be getting in the way of others at times, you might even despise having to ask someone for help every time you need something done. It’s really no fun.
The Human Element
If one’s internal turmoil at that age is not enough to upset them considerably, the lack of human contact compensates. Living in an empty home full of attendees is not really ideal. We’ve come across people who have moved out of mansions and into luxury senior living homes such as ours for one reason; the social element. We provide our residents not just with amenities but with social opportunities and a community to connect and bond with.
When we’re younger, being alone does not bother many of us too much however with age, we need time and attention. If you’re thinking that your visits once or twice a month to your parent suffice you might be mistaken.
Think instead of the hours and days they spend alone, watching TV, looking for things to stay occupied and we hate to say this but wait for you to come see them! The grief they feel is very real.
What Does One Do?
For starters if your parent tells you they’re not happy you should believe them. They wouldn’t bother you with anything they couldn’t look after themselves. Show some compassion. Go visit more. See if you can have them move closer to you maybe? In any case, understand that the grief your parent may be feeling is something many their age do and is something that should never be ignored. Feel free to get in touch with us if you have any more questions on what you could do.