As a caregiver, looking after your loved one has been your life. Dealing with the transition when your loved one has passed on can be daunting. You may feel loss from not knowing what to do next as your routine used to revolve around caring for your loved one. This is a beginning of a process of learning to live again.
When your loved one passes on, a mix feeling of relief and guilt is often experienced. The sense of relief is when you know your loved one is no longer in agony and you no longer need to struggle with the emotional turmoil of end of life. However, that is usually replaced by the sense of loss. Allow yourself to
grief over your loss.
It can be particularly hard for seniors dealing with loss of a spouse. Overcoming isolation is the greatest challenge in moving on with life afterward especially if the senior was highly dependent on the deceased spouse. They might start neglecting their own care or becoming more inactive by staying at home all the time. Such behavior over a prolonged period can lead to other health problems and compromise welfare.
For caregivers who are retired, you can discover and participate in activities on your own or with a group. Here are some suggested
activities from HealthHub.
Try to immerse yourself in activities that give your purpose to overcome the loneliness. You can start doing things that you thought of but never had the time to do before, such as catching up with family and friends, travelling, volunteering, exercising or picking up a hobby. Talk to your family members and celebrate the memory of your loved one by reflecting the times you have together. Joining in support groups allow you to share your experiences and process your feelings. Opening up yourself to someone else can be a powerful healing tool.
If you find yourself struggling to cope or unable to adjust after some time,
seek professional help. There are counselling and therapy that specializes in grief and loss. You can search for
counsellors specialising in grief, loss and depression online.
It is also useful to do a review of your finances. Some caregivers left work to provide care. After not working for some time, you may feel uncertain about re-entering the workforce. There are initiatives available to assist you in this transition.
Dealing with a loss is never easy. It takes time to move on.
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