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Stages of Grief: Coping with a Loved One’s Diagnosis

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If your aging loved one has been diagnosed with an age-related or chronic illness, grief is a natural reaction. Although the grieving process is different for everyone, psychologist Elisabeth Kübler-Ross has identified five stages of grief that most people experience when facing a loss. Knowing about these stages can help you manage the emotions you’re feeling and be the best caregiver possible for your parent, grandparent, or loved one.

  1. Denial – During this stage, you may feel that there must have been some mistake and that the your loved one’s diagnosis is false. You may seek second opinions or search out information that contradicts what the doctor has told your family.
  2. Anger – After moving beyond denial, you may feel angry about the illness your loved one is facing. Being angry with the doctors, the situation, and even God or a higher power is quite typical during this stage.
  3. Bargaining – In the bargaining stage, you may feel that you would do anything to avoid the pain that your loved one, and by extension, you and your family will face. Many people in this stage promise that they will completely reform their lifestyle, do more good deeds, or other offerings in exchange for good health for their family member.
  4. Depression – This stage is when the sadness about a loved one’s diagnosis begins to set in. You may feel listless, lose hope, and withdraw from activities. Many people in this stage feel that life is not worth living if their family member will be suffering.
  5. Acceptance – While you will probably still feel sadness during the acceptance stage, this is when you begin to move forward to a life in which your loved one is chronically ill. At this stage, you are able to make plans and tackle practical considerations such as preparing legal documents, how to provide emotional support, and support services like 24 hour or hourly care in Oklahoma.

If you feel like you are having difficulty coping as a family caregiver, talk with your doctor. He or she may recommend therapy or other strategies to help deal with your grief.

To learn more about local support and caregiving options nearest you, reach out to Home Care Assistance of Oklahoma. We provide senior care in Edmond, Oklahoma City, and the surrounding communities, allowing seniors to safely and comfortably age in place at home and offering families peace of mind knowing their loved one is being cared for by a professional, trained, and compassionate caregiver. Call (905) 951-8885 and request your complimentary, no-obligation consultation today.

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