How the Elderly Cope with the Death of a Spouse

Topics: Death, Gerontology, Old age Pages: 3 (985 words) Published: October 24, 2013
Cause and Effect of: How the Elderly Cope with the Death of a Spouse

Ever noticed an elderly couple performing normal daily activities and think to yourself, what would they do without one another? Many of us have elderly relatives who are either married or have someone with whom they have a tight bond with, such as a best friend, and we believe they keep each other alive. We are all born to die, but how we cope with death is different. When someone dies, people affected may feel depressed, sad and even angry. Looking at death from a different perspective, such as a loved one going to a better place, instead of a loss can cause relatives to celebrate. This is usually the case when the cause of death is natural. When death of a spouse is because of a traumatic event, love ones are left with many questions that they can live with for the rest of their lives. We may continue to live normal lives once the emotional pain is suppressed. I use the term suppress, because does anyone ever get over the death of a loved one? Bereavement in the elderly can cause the partner to become lonely, fall ill, and often times die soon after. When an older adult’s lifelong partner dies, what is their mental state? The mental health of many older spouses is not as devastating as expected, although loneliness and problems associated with the tasks of living are the most common and difficult adjustments of the adult. Research indicates that an assessment tool called Inventory of Complicated Grief (ICG), assess the thoughts, feelings, and behaviors associated with separation distress including, excessive loneliness. Another test, can be done to assess the progress in the bereavement process known as the 10-Mile Mourning Bridge. This assessment is on a scale of 0-10, 0 meaning grieving has not started and 10 meaning that the person is well over the emotional stress and can move on with their lives. Loneliness can be part of the grieving process in such cases where no one...
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