Knowing that your elderly family member is nearing the end of her life and dealing with the reality of that situation can be two entirely different subjects. Having more than one way to deal with the loss in a positive manner can make a big difference.
Access Bereavement Counseling
Many end-of-life care programs include a component that helps family members to deal with the emotions and issues that come up at this time. Called bereavement counseling, this type of counseling can help you to prepare for the grief you’re experiencing. Even after your senior passes away, having someone to talk to about your grief and the other feelings you’re having can help you to work through them much more quickly.
Join a Support Group
Support groups are an awesome tool at any stage of your caregiving journey, but they can be especially helpful when you’re dealing with grief. Talking with other caregivers who have gone through what you’re experiencing can be powerful. Even if all you need to do is listen for now, you’ve got the support of people who have been exactly where you are right now.
Pay Close Attention to Self-care Routines
If you’re not taking excellent care of yourself, you’re likely to experience some issues. Make sure that you’re eating healthy meals regularly to keep yourself fueled. Take a shower at least once a day and take the time to work out a sleep schedule. Once in a while, take a walk around the block with a friend or on your own. Assess what you need and then make a plan to get what you need. If you’re having trouble putting together a self-care plan you can stick with, form a buddy system with someone you’re close to an help each other to stay accountable.
Reach out to Family and Friends
Above all, it’s time to start reaching out to friends and family members. Many may also be dealing with grief related to your senior’s situation and would benefit from talking to someone else who knows exactly what’s going on. Long conversations may not be what either of you need, so just being there for the people that you love might do the most good.
It’s never easy to lose someone that you love, especially when you’ve been helping to take care of that person. When you pack your emotional toolkit with the right tools, though, you can handle situations and feelings as they arise.