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August 10, 2016

Helping an Aging Veteran Parent Cope with Grief

Elder Care Grayslake IL

Elder Care Grayslake IL

As your elderly veteran parent continues to get older, they will have to cope with the loss of family members, pets, a spouse, or friends even more. Each loss is equally as difficult to cope with as the last and it is a life-changing event that everyone handles differently.

No matter how your elderly loved one deals with this traumatic change in their life, having the support of other family members or caregivers will help them get through their grief in a healthy manner. To effectively help the elder veteran handle their loss, try these tips.


  • Recognize their feelings. Your loved one needs to know that their feelings are acknowledged you, whether they are feeling angry, sad, depressed, or shocked. Without recognizing their feelings, the elder will have a much more difficult time coping with their grief.
  • Keep a journal. Writing down their thoughts and feelings can be very therapeutic. This is especially helpful for someone who has a difficult time verbally communicating how they are feeling. If writing is challenging for your loved one, drawing pictures can also be effective.
  • Have someone to talk to. Talking about their grief with someone who understands what they are going through can help them heal much quicker. A therapist or support group are just two places your elderly veteran parent can freely express themselves.
  • Be a great listener. An excellent way to help them heal is just by listening. They most likely do not want to hear your advice, but do want to vent or share stories and memories with you. If they end up repeating the same story, let them. Just allowing them to talk about their loss without interrupting will help them cope with these feelings.
  • Give it time. It could take days, weeks, or months before the veteran is ready to talk about their feelings. Just be patient and available when they are ready to talk. Do not push your loved one to talk about it before they are ready because this could actually cause them to not want to discuss it with you at all.
  • Do not expect immediate results. Even if the elder veteran is ready to share their feelings with you, it could still take a lengthy amount of time for them to overcome their grief. Avoid trying to force them to get over it because they will move past their grief when they are ready to do so.


Loss is difficult at any age, but these tips will help you provide the support your veteran loved one is in need of during this time in their life.  


If you or an aging loved one are considering in-home Elder Care Services in Grayslake IL, please contact the caring staff at Big Hearts Home Care today! 

Matthew Calcagno

Matthew is a graduate of Robert Morris College and is a U.S. Navy veteran.Matthew founded Big Hearts Home Care after over a decade at HP. Spending time volunteering at his grandparent’s senior center inspired him to make a bigger difference in the quality of care seniors receive.His grandfather whom turned 100 in 2015 is still a major inspiration to him in seeing that service is provided with a family focused touch.

It is his passion and commitment to providing quality service that has awarded Big Hearts Home Care as Provider of Choice and Employer of Choice in the Chicagoland area. He believes that being an independently owned and operated company allows him the flexibility to manage the business in a way that better serves the clients.


"Helping people is what I was meant to do; it inspires and motivates me," Calcagno said. "I also get to help veterans - assisting them in the VA pension process and providing care for several in the area. This is what I love to do."

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