Though grief is an emotional response to a sad or otherwise negative situation, it sometimes has direct links to physical health. Since the elderly are especially susceptible to complications caused by grief, it’s important to pay attention to your senior loved one’s health and behaviour to ensure he or she remains well. The staff at Home Care Assistance, a trusted provider of at-home care in Perth, has put together a list of physical symptoms seniors can develop because of grief.

1. Weak Immune System

Studies have shown complicated or prolonged grief can reduce a person’s immunity. Seniors with weak immune systems are more likely to develop infections like the common cold. Eating healthy foods can help boost your loved one’s immunity and prevent illness. If your loved one has a diminished appetite, taking a multivitamin may help him or her get important nutrients. Talk to your loved one’s physician to find out which vitamins are a good choice.

2. Stress

Seniors who lose a spouse or other close loved one are at a significantly increased risk of having a heart attack during the first 24 hours after the loss. Using stress management techniques or talking to a trusted counselor or religious adviser can help your loved one manage his or her emotional pain after a loss. Once the stress is under control, the risk of heart attack after losing a loved one typically lessens over time.

3. Aches and Pains

Grieving is sometimes accompanied by depression, a mental disorder that often has physical symptoms. Grief has some symptoms that are similar to depression, such as feelings of sadness. However, grief is usually accompanied by warm memories, which help alleviate the negative feelings. Depression is not relieved by memories, and it usually persists or worsens over time. The physical symptoms of depression include chronic joint pain, fatigue, limb and back pain, and gastrointestinal problems. Talk to a medical professional if your loved one shows these physical signs of depression. Along with prescribed medications, talking to a counselor or therapist or spending time with a Perth hourly caregiver can help your loved one manage the symptoms of depression.

4. Insomnia

Sleeplessness is common when a person grieves. Insomnia develops when a person can’t fall or stay asleep, which can cause fatigue, poor concentration, and irritability, leading to a lower quality of life. Most people experience insomnia for a short time after losing a job or a loved one. If sleeplessness persists, speak to your loved one’s doctor about the available treatment options.

The emotional and physical symptoms caused by grief can be more easily managed with the help of a professional caregiver. At Home Care Assistance, our hourly and live-in caregivers can provide social stimulation and emotional support while assisting your loved one with a wide array of daily tasks. We also offer specialised Parkinson’s, stroke, and dementia care Perth families trust. For more information on how our aged care services can promote your loved one’s overall wellbeing, call one of our experienced Care Managers at (08) 9385 5675 today.