Help and Support for Grieving Caregivers
When someone you love is nearing the end of life or has already passed, you may experience a heaviness of mind and heart. This grief or sorrow often comes with a muddled mix of emotions including hopelessness, fear, denial, guilt and anger. Grief as a caregiver carries its own set of challenges, as you have been focusing on the needs of your loved one and have had little opportunity to recognize and address your own feelings of sadness.
If you have been caring for your loved one, you likely have experienced anticipatory grief, adjusting to multiple losses and changes in your loved one’s health and care needs over time. With the passing of your loved one, you may not be sure how to cope and move on. However, every step of your personal journey through loss and grief matters, and it's important that you take this journey at your own pace.
Grief support is important because…
After a death, up to a third of people most directly affected will encounter physical or mental health effects, or both.
About 25% of widows and widowers will experience clinical depression and anxiety during the first year after losing a spouse.
Grief increases the risk of death from heart disease and suicide.
— National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine
Download: Guide for Grieving Caregivers
As you work through the heartache and uncertainties of your loss and sorrow, Right at Home can assist you with helpful grief resources. Working with grief support expert Dr. Eboni Green, Right at Home has created the booklet, Understanding Grief: A Guide for Grieving Caregivers. This insightful guide offers a number of ways to work through your grief, including:
- 7 Tips for Coping When Someone You Love Is Nearing the End of Life
- 3 Commons Myths About Coping With Grief
- Common Feelings Associated With Grief
- Journaling, Guided Breathing and Imagery Exercises
- 6 Strategies of Self-Care While Grieving
Understanding Grief: A Guide for Grieving Caregivers
Videos featuring Dr. Eboni Green
Myths About Coping with Grief
Not everyone will follow the same pattern of coping with grief. There is no set process or time frame for grieving. Losing someone you love changes your life forever, and although you will likely not get over your sadness entirely, it is possible to learn to cope.
Self-Care While Grieving
As you heal from your loss, a number of self-care approaches such as getting adequate sleep, nutrition and exercise can help you. Should you find that you are more than just sad or you simply are unable to cope with the intensity of your feelings, these signs of complicated grief or post-traumatic responses deserve the advice of a trusted medical professional.
How Right at Home Can Help
As you deal with your loss, it is important that you are not burdened by unrealistic expectations on how to address your sadness. During this season of bereavement and change, the support of a Right at Home caregiving team can uplift and assist you with your own health and home care needs. Our caring and supportive Right Care in-home care services can provide you with:
- Meal planning and preparation
- Light housekeeping
- Daily health reminders
- Physical assistance and personal care
If you need help sorting through paperwork, boxing up and donating your loved one’s belongings and tying up loose ends, we can lend a hand in this important yet sentimental part of honoring your loved one.
Call one of our local offices today for more information.
About Dr. Eboni Green
Dr. Eboni Green is co-founder of Caregiver Support Services, which specializes in helping family and professional caregivers across the lifespan through direct supportive services. She is the author of three books, “At the Heart of the Matter,” “Caregiving in the New Millennium” and “Reflections From the Soul.” Dr. Green’s extensive experience has focused on caregivers’ health and wellness, with an emphasis on caregiver stress, burnout and related family conflicts. She serves on the American Society on Aging’s spirituality and aging constituent group.