The loss of a spouse at any age is heartbreaking and devastating, and for older adults, it can be especially life-altering.
No matter how much time you shared together, losing someone close to you makes it difficult to move forward or even imagine life without the other person. Grief looks and feels different for every individual; taking one day at a time to process the loss is of utmost importance.
The reality, though, is that–in addition to the grief stages that bring on feelings of isolation and loneliness–the death of a spouse can also mean you are no longer able to live on your own. In some cases, the surviving spouse may have been cared for by the spouse who passed away, suddenly leaving adult children in a caretaking role. Maintaining a home and trying to keep up with responsibilities that were once shared between spouses can be too much to handle. For many people, the road to healing often includes downsizing and moving.
When the timing is right, experiencing a fresh start with a community of friends who can support you and walk with you through this journey in life can help you reclaim your purpose and find healing. In fact, many of them have gone through a similar situation and can help you . Here are some ways you or your loved one can benefit from moving to a senior living community following the death of a spouse.
Enjoy chef-prepared meals with a supportive network of friends. Some seniors lose interest in cooking and eating when they are alone and lonely. In an independent living or assisted living community, they can enjoy delicious, nutritious food surrounded by other seniors in a restaurant-style setting, making mealtime enjoyable again. Just knowing there are those around you who will walk with you in your grief journey can bring about comfort and healing.
Live a maintenance-free lifestyle. For many couples, the splitting of household duties and responsibilities is the norm. One person might pay the bills and be responsible for cooking and cleaning. The other may handle home and car maintenance and lawn care. When one spouse is left alone to do everything, feelings of extreme anxiety and hopelessness can set in–and the maintenance can be overwhelming. Moving to an independent living or assisted living community removes the burden of maintaining a home so you can focus on moving forward with your life.
Participate in activities programming that keeps seniors cognitively engaged and in a healthy routine. Activities can feel empty without their loved one by their side, and they may even feel guilty for continuing on without them. Finding ways to live with purpose again is very important to the healing process, and many senior living communities offer all kinds of opportunities to volunteer and give back to others. When surrounded by other residents with similar interests at an independent living or assisted living community, seniors can reconnect with their passions and hobbies and find joy in life again.
No one should have to be alone following the death of a spouse. Taking proper time to grieve the loss of a loved one is of utmost importance–and when mom or dad is ready, moving to senior living could be just what they need to continue the healing process. Being surrounded by a network of peers who have gone through the grieving process can make all the difference to a grieving family member. At The Lodge at Stephens Lake, we can help you find joy and hope in life again through our wonderful senior living campus in Jasper, Georgia. Call today or go online to connect with us.