How to Care for a Parent After Their Spouse Dies
Caring for a parent whose spouse has died may leave you feeling heartbroken and unsure what to do. Willingness to help is meaningful and necessary, but it is equally important to be tactful and make an effort to understand what your parent is going through.
There are a few things to keep in mind when caring for your aging parent after their spouse passes away:
- They aren’t only grieving the loss of a spouse. When someone loses a spouse late in life, there is often a lot more going on than grieving the death of a loved one. They may be alone for the first time in many years and fearful about what it will be like to age without their significant other. They may be wondering who will support them, where they will live, and what sort of quality of life they will have without their loved one in the coming years. One of the best ways you can serve your parent during the grieving process is to remember that, in addition to heartbreak, they are likely experiencing a great deal of worry and uncertainty regarding the future.
- Be helpful but not controlling. As much as they are capable of doing so, allow your parent to have a voice in important changes that take place after their loved one’s death, especially if that involves moving, selling their marital residence, parting with their deceased spouse’s car, and things like that.
- Give them time. Just as in any other phase of life, grieving takes different forms. It is important to allow your parent to grieve at their own pace. If you are the one responsible for caring for your parent after their spouse’s death, you may want to help them get their affairs in order quickly. However, it’s important to remember that your parent may not want to pack up their spouse’s belongings quite so quickly. You may see the immediate need to do such things, but remember there is no reason to rush through the process of removing evidence of the deceased person (such as clothing, a toothbrush, shoes at the backdoor, etc.).
- They need you more than ever. Your parent may now have more independence and more freedom, but (depending on their age) they are more likely to lean heavily on you and other caregivers or family members. Whether their needs involving a new place to live, assistance with transportation, or just getting additional support, taking the time to explore creative solutions on their behalf can go a long way.
Companion Care for Aging and Widowed Parents in Texas
At Home Healthcare is glad to come alongside you and help you serve your parent in the wake of their loved one’s passing. Whether your aging parent is in need of help with daily activities such as grocery shopping and driving or needs more hands-on assistance, our compassionate caregivers are here to help. If you aren’t sure what kind of help your parent needs, we are happy to help you identify the best care solution.
Call (877) 959-9093 to speak to one of our friendly team members or request care today.