Ways You Can Help an Elder Cope with Loss and Ensure They Are Protected

When helping an elder cope with loss, especially around emotionally charged times such as Valentine’s Day, it is crucial to approach with sensitivity, understanding, and practical support. The period around Valentine’s Day can magnify feelings of loneliness and grief for elders who have lost a spouse or loved ones, making it a particularly poignant time to offer support and compassion. 

We know you may have questions about how to help a loved one dealing with these challenges, especially around special holidays. Let us share several ways you can both help an elder cope with loss and protect them well into the future. 

  1. Acknowledge the grief. It is important to recognize the pain and the increased sense of loss that Valentine’s Day might bring. Encourage them to share memories and express their feelings. A listening ear and understanding are invaluable during these times.
  2. Create new traditions. While Valentine’s Day can bring up memories of past loved ones, it can also be an opportunity to create new traditions. This might involve celebrating friendships, attending community events, or volunteering, which can help bring a sense of purpose and connection.
  3. Engage professional support. Sometimes, coping with loss requires professional help. Encourage them to seek support groups or counseling, especially around challenging times like Valentine’s Day. It is important they know that there is no shame in seeking help.
  4. Stay connected. Isolation can worsen feelings of grief and loneliness. Regular visits, phone calls, or even teaching them to use technology to connect with family and friends can make a significant difference.
  5. Encourage physical activity. Gentle physical activities like walking can help improve mood and overall well-being. If possible, join them in these activities to keep them motivated and company.
  6. Mind their health. Ensure they are eating well, taking medications as prescribed, and attending regular check-ups. Grief can often lead to neglecting personal health, so it is important to monitor this closely.
  7. Review their Florida estate planning. It is critical for elders to have their Florida estate planning up to date, reflecting their current wishes. This includes wills, trusts, power of attorney, and health care directives. The loss of a loved one can significantly alter their previous plans or bring to light the need for changes. Ensure they understand the importance of reviewing these documents regularly, especially after major life events like the loss of a spouse.
  8. Educate them about scams. Unfortunately, elders are often targets for scams, particularly those who have recently lost a spouse and might not be as vigilant. Educate them about common scams and remind them never to give out personal information.
  9. Memorialize the loved one. Encourage them to honor the memory of their lost loved one in a way that feels right to them. This could be through a donation to a charity, planting a tree, or any other meaningful gesture.
  10. Encourage them to plan early for long-term care. Lastly, recommend that they consult with a Florida estate planning and elder law firm to ensure their affairs are in order when it comes to long-term care. Especially if they are now single, there may be steps that need to be taken to ensure they will continue to thrive well into the future.  

During times of loss, especially around sentimental periods like Valentine’s Day, elders deserve compassion, presence, and practical support. By combining emotional support with the encouragement to keep estate plans, and even elder law plans, updated, you provide a holistic approach to helping them navigate their grief and ensuring their peace of mind.

We know this article raises more questions than it answers. We know this article raises more questions than it answers. Elder and Estate Planning Attorneys, PA, is a law office small enough to provide personal service but large enough to provide service in Jupiter, as well as Palm Beach, Martin, St. Lucie, and Indian River Counties in Florida. Our law firm will guide you through legal challenges involving elder law, estate planning, trusts, veterans benefits, real estate, and more. We encourage you to contact us and schedule a meeting with our attorneys.