Non-death Grief and Loss

Older adults are affected by many different losses including:

  • Declining mental and physical health.
  • Dependency on others.
  • Lowered ability to engage in enjoyable and fulfilling activities.
  • Personal appearance.
  • Retirement from their work.
  • Leaving their home and memories to move into an Aged Care Facility.
  • Loss of independence, privacy and freedom.
  • Loss of family and community relationships, leading to increased feelings of isolation and loneliness.
  • Loss of meaning, purpose, hopes and dreams.
  • Loss of identity.

Often these losses have no foreseeable end. There can be a sense of helplessness as the future looks unpredictable. There may also be a disparity between future hope and the reality of life.

This disparity and ongoing painful feelings can cause chronic sorrow. Chronic sorrow is often unrecognised in older adults and this can lead to disenfranchised grief.

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