Author Topic: Grief in older adults  (Read 4879 times)

grief in older adults

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Grief in older adults
« on: December 12, 2008, 01:19:10 PM »
Grieving the death of a loved one is among the hardest things we ever do.  Strong feelings of sadness and loneliness are almost universal, as are other painful feelings, like fear, anxiety, guilt, resentment, anger, and shame.  Experiencing any and/or all of these emotions during acute grief is perfectly normal.  However, these feelings usually decrease over time, and people have a sense that their grief is progressing.

For some people, though, grief does not seem to progress.  These people may find that they are unable to accept the death. They may be preoccupied with images and thoughts about the death or the person who dies; they may avoid doing things they used to do with the person who dies, and distance themselves from family and friends.  Some bereaved people feel ?stuck? in the grieving process and grief continues to interfere with their lives long after their loved one has died.  It is as though the bereaved person loses his/her life as well. This kind of prolonged intense grief is called Complicated Grief.

If you think you may be suffering from complicated grief, you may be interested in participating in a study of treatments for this condition that involves 16 weekly talk therapy sessions, and approximately 6 months of monthly telephone follow-up calls.  The first and last assessments are done in person at the Late Life Depression Clinic at the New York State Psychiatric Institute, as are the treatment sessions.  There is no cost for the treatment, and all information related to the study is kept strictly confidential.

If you are between the ages of 60 and 95, and have been bereaved for 6 months or more, you may be eligible to participate.  Sometimes younger people can also participate.  For more information, please contact Ms. Rachel Fox at 212-851-2107 or sw-cgte@columbia.edu.?