While having anyone you care for in your life pass away, experiencing the death of a spouse when you’re at an old age can be quite traumatic. And although your loved one who’s just lost their spouse had to have faced this reality in one way or another before it happened, this doesn’t make coping with their loss any easier.
So if you have a loved one who’s just recently lost their spouse after being together for decades, here are three ways you can help that elderly loved one through this tough time.
Make Mealtimes Easier
After doing so many things in life with their spouse for years and years, your loved one is going to have to get used to doing things on their own now.
One thing that many people find particularly hard to face alone is eating. But since your elderly loved one needs to continue eating healthy foods in order to stay strong themselves, it can be very helpful for you to step in here and make mealtimes easier.
To do this, you may want to consider introducing your loved one to their local senior center or assisted living community so they can enjoy meals with others around them. You could also get them gift cards for restaurants they love so they don’t have to worry about cooking every meal for themselves at home. And, if nothing else, you can plan to eat meals with them a couple of times a week if you live close enough.
Give Them Something To Look Forward To
It’s very easy for someone who’s just lost their love, partner, and best friend to feel a little depressed and hopeless. But while you can’t bring their loved one back to them after they’ve died, you can give your remaining loved one something to look forward to in the future.
In the months following the death, try to talk to your loved one about events or holidays that are coming up that they can attend or join in on. If you’re able to, try to plan things that you know your elderly loved one will want to be a part of and enjoy participating in. This way, they’ll have something to look forward to.
Help Them Learn To Take On New Roles
In most relationships, certain partners will take care of certain tasks for the other. But when one side of the partnership is no longer there, the remaining partner then has to learn how to take on this new role.
When this happens for your loved one, you should do what you can to step in and make this transition a little easier. If their spouse used to handle the monthly bills or do the shopping, try to hold your loved one’s hand through these tasks for the first few months until they feel comfortable doing them on their own.
If you have an elderly loved one who’s just lost their spouse, consider using the tips mentioned above to help them grieve this loss and learn how to adjust.