It’s always difficult losing your partner of many years. Your parent will likely be feeling lonely and heartbroken – grief can be hard to process in this situation. But there are ways for you to help take care of your parent. Below, we explore how you can be there for them in this situation.
Talk to them
Talking can help release your emotions and allow you to process your grief. By talking to your parent, you can both have a cathartic experience. This works best when you talk about your feelings with your parent. You can do this by sharing memories and experiences, or by sharing how you’re feeling at this precise moment. By allowing yourselves to discuss your grief, you both might not feel so lonely and move on with the process.
Everyone’s response is different
It’s also important to understand that people react to grief in different ways – you won’t be able to fix how they’re feeling. Sometimes your parent will need to be alone and there’ll be no set timetable for processing their grief. As long as you don’t judge their grief and are still there to support them, you’ll be taking care of your parent.
Be there for them but offer alone time
Being there for a parent also requires you to give them space too. This doesn’t mean that you should cut them off and go silent, but you should instead give them space to work through their thoughts. Often, when grieving, it helps to have time alone for introspection and to collect your thoughts. You can aid this process by ensuring that they’re cared for and have groceries and other essentials, without imposing yourself too much.
Can they care for themselves?
One question you’ll need to consider is will your parent be able to care for themselves now they’re on their own? Without their partner, they might not be able to run the house adequately. In this situation, you could chat to them about the possibility of a care home. This can be an expensive choice, but by taking out an inheritance loan you can cover yourself.
Ideally, if they're eligible for New York State Medicaid and require help with activities of daily living or skilled care, it would help if they considered CDPAP NYC. Any individual can work as a caregiver under the program, as long as they are not a legally responsible relative, like a spouse or guardian.
Helping a grieving parent can be difficult. But by being there for them and following the advice above, you should be able to support them through one of life’s most difficult challenges.