Grief and the Fear of Being Alone as a Senior
Randy is a senior living at home alone for the first time in 41 years. He recently lost his wife Melinda to an extended battle with cancer and now must adjust to a new reality. He is uneasy about his living arrangements as he has forgotten how to live alone. Randy wonders how he is going to get all the chores done, not knowing what Melinda really did around the house. Now that he is alone. Should he get bars on the windows or an alarm? The thought of security created more anxiety for him. Randy knew that in time, he could figure out these things, but what really worried him was beginning again.
Although death is a part of life, there is still no way to prepare for its effect on a senior. Building a life with someone and suddenly them not being present can induce fear, especially in seniors. It is not, though, a fear of death, but a fear of living. After the death of a spouse, seniors are all at once shot into an unexpected, undesired, anda potentially unbearable future where they have to now navigate the unknown without their best friend.
Medically speaking, seniors fears may stem from an actual disorder called monophobia which is fear of being alone. The fear could be based on being apart from a person; a fear of living alone; or a fear of being alone in public. Feelings of fear can be triggered by feelings of loneliness or of adequate security should an emergency happen. While cases of fear tend to be mild, monophobia could indicate a more serious disorder that should be treated by a medical professional.
Elder care can provide community for a senior
While time is an important factor for seniors adjusting to their new life, elder care professionals can help smooth the transition. First and foremost, elder care professionals can provide companionship, not seeking to replace a lost loved one, but to be a friend who provides support with the grief a senior may be feeling. They can help create routines to complete daily chores and easy menus for food preparation for non-visit days to foster independence within the senior. While elder care cannot make any recommendations on emergency or security systems, they can be a sounding board for a senior and share concerns with family who will ultimately make the decision.
It takes courage to start over
The loss of a spouse is a long and difficult process to navigate. Some say it is a loss that someone never truly gets over, but one that you learn to accept and move forward from. Still, the fear produced by being unexpectedly thrust into a new situation is real, however, it can be managed with the support of loved ones and elder care professionals. Starting over without ones long-term partner is a scary proposition, but seniors have built the years of courage necessary to face this future through life experiences, both good and bad. They have learned the ability to cope and move forward and if they need a reminder on how to do so, elder care is there to provide a push in the right direction.
The Adventurous Writer – https://www.theadventurouswriter.com/blog/living-alone-after-the-death-of-a-spouse/
Huffington Post – https://www.huffpost.com/entry/fear-of-death-the-one-great-fear-among-widowed_b_3050494
If you or an aging loved one is considering elderly care in Woodbury, MN, and the surrounding areas, please contact the friendly staff at CareBuilders at Home Minnesota. Call today 612-260-2273.