Aging can be understood as a series of morphological, psychological, biochemical and functional modifications that cause the passage of time in living beings. It is a universal process that reaches all individuals without exception. There are changes during aging that can be taken as losses.
- Significant loss of physical, sensory or psychomotor capacity as well as the perception of less muscle strength and / or energy. This can be caused by some disease or by natural changes.
- Loss of quality in significant affective relationships. There is a feeling of loss of ties, affective support and / or less closeness to others.
- Loss due to retirement and social integration. People feel that they no longer occupy an important place or cease to belong to unfamiliar social structures due to aging.
- Loss for death of unskilled. (DUEL) This loss refers mainly to the death of people who are considered more expected in this period of their life.
STAGES OF THE DUEL
The duel like all natural process, has stages that have been defined by different authors:
- THE DENIAL: they do not accept the event. It’s a kind of defense and cushioning that they do before the news.
- ANGER: they express displeasure at the changes that have occurred.
- SORROW: state of affliction. They may come to feel weakness and marginalization in the face of a physical change.
- NEGOTIATION: in this phase we try to reach an agreement to overcome the experience.
- ACCEPTANCE: it is the moment where reality is finally assumed.
HOW TO HELP A SENIOR ADULT WITH YOUR DUEL?
- GIVE TIME TO THE PERSON. Sometimes, older adults need more time to realize their feelings and express them.
- INDICATE SIGNS OF SORROW OR CHANGES IN CONDUCT. This can help the person to realize their feelings and can help the person feel more comfortable
- SPEND TIME WITH THE PERSON. Feelings of loneliness can last for a long time when an older adult has lost someone or something very special, particularly a spouse.
- SPEAK OF THE LOSS. Older people, especially those who have experienced several losses in a short period of time, often find help sharing memories of the person they lost.
- BE ATTENTIVE TO SIGNS OF PROLONGED DUEL OR DEPRESSION. If you have concerns that an older adult is having difficulty managing your pain, look for a psychology professional.
- Support groups . Grief support groups are self-help groups, emotional and social support, where people who have experienced the death of a loved one can find a space to not only express their pain but also to learn through it. These are groups with shared concerns and objectives