Grieving Bereaved Elderlies

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Bereavement. Elderlies also shared that they have grieved over the death of their loved ones. This experience is one of the most stressful life situations of elderlies which may predispose them to mental health problems. Bereaved elderlies can be assisted to deal with their situation using the following:
Be present and listen with compassion to support in the grieving process. One of the most difficult experiences in life is the death of a loved one as it brings painful emotions such as anger, sadness and guilt and can make the bereaved feel isolated. However, the presence of someone who can listen with compassion can greatly help in getting through the grieving process especially if they are provided reassurance and shown empathy without assuming
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The presence of someone can already be comforting among the bereaved.
Acknowledge the situation by saying, “I heard that your ______.” (“Narinig/Nalaman ko pong namatay ang iyong _____.”) Through this, elderlies who are experiencing grief can be authentic in expressing their emotions.
Express that you care by saying, “I’m sorry to hear that this happened to you.” (“Ikinalulungkot ko po ang nangyari.”) Through this, they may feel that someone acknowledges their experience and understands them.
Be genuine in your communication with the bereaved by saying, "I’m not sure what to say, but I want you to know I care." (“Hindi ko po alam kung anong dapat sabihin ngunit gusto ko pong malaman mo na nandito lang ako”.) Through this, elderlies can be assisted to feel being supported despite of their challenging situation.
Offer your support by saying, "Tell me what I can do for you." (“Sabihin mo lang po kung ano ang maitutulong ko sa inyo.”) Help with errands can be offered to support
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Be attentive to the cognition and behaviors of the bereaved elderly. If the bereaved elderly starts doing harmful behaviors towards himself such as difficulty functioning in daily life, neglecting personal hygiene, withdrawing from others, abusing alcohol or drugs and talking about suicide, encourage them about getting professional help especially if it has been two months since the death (Smith and Segal, 2017). They can be encouraged by saying, “I am troubled by the fact that you are not sleeping. Perhaps, you should look into getting help.” (“Nangangamba po ako sa hindi mo pagtulog. Siguro po makakabuti kung tayo po ay hihingi na ng tulong.”) instead of telling them what to do. This can be supported by Trimble et. al. (2012) who identified the postvention experiences of individuals bereaved by the suicide of a close family member and found that the desire for understanding and knowledge from professionals and acknowledgement of traumatic nature of bereavement are the key themes in their experiences aside from helpfulness of social

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