Hospice Care: Help During End Stages of Life
Barry Jacobs, Psy.D. Sits in Carol’s Spot for Today’s Column on Planning for Eventual Parent Care

Grieving Before Death: Alzheimer's or Terminal Illness Grief

Greif_nguyen-dang-hoang-nhu-GHGweXclrXs-unsplashPhoto credit Nguyen Dang Hoang

Nearly everyone involved in caring for an ill or aging loved one is experiencing some degree of grief. However, we don’t usually identify the complex emotions we’re experiencing as such. When you have a parent or spouse who used to be strong and capable but begins to ask for a little assistance, it’s no big deal, right? You’re happy to help. But deep down, there’s a knot in our hearts. We’re grieving various kinds of loss, including the loss of function that comes with advancing age or a chronic medical condition. Generally, these changes are subtle and the grief surrounding them is sneaky. My Experience with Grieving Before Death: I remember watching my parents age in a normal fashion. I’d occasionally look at them and be startled by the realization that they were getting older, but that was all I acknowledged. I never consciously dwelled on the fact that they would continue to decline and eventually I would lose them. I didn’t want to. These things did, however, linger in the very back of my mind. Then one day my dad underwent brain surgery to correct an old injury...

Continue reading on Agingcare for more about how dementia caregivers being to grieve the loss of their loved one long before they grieve again upon death.

Support a caregiver or jump-start discussion in support groups with real stories - for bulk orders of Minding Our Elders e-mail Carol  

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