Moving Into a Care Home Following Bereavement

Moving Into a Care Home Following Bereavement

Written by freelance contributor Anne Rickards

There are many reasons why someone might chose to move into a care home and receive the warm and professional care that such an environment provides. It could be that they feel safer in a group environment, that they need specific medical care and the reassurance that this is always at hand, or simply that they are lonely in their own home without any company.

One of the main triggers for making the move into a care home is the loss of a spouse or partner, and the overwhelming grief and loneliness that often accompanies this. Grief often leads to depression particularly if the bereaved was the primary caregiver for their spouse in the period prior to their death: around 20 percent of caregivers are found to suffer from depression once the person they are caring for has passed away. [1]

If in a position where grief has led to depression, and this is accompanied by acute loneliness or any other medical issues then perhaps moving into a care home is the best and most sensible solution. There are other reasons why moving in a care home may well be a good option following a bereavement and any subsequent depression[2] or grief-related mental health effects: Depression is often accompanied by very serious financial implications [3] as it can leave you unable to take care of your own bills and financial responsibility.

If you had joint finances with the person who passed away you may also suddenly find yourself unable to afford your mortgage repayments or any other bills associated with running a home that is likely to now be much larger than you need. You will find that moving into a care home is a way of instantly solving any financial stress and will give you the time and space you need to focus on your personal healing instead.

Alleviating Loneliness

Recent research has found that only 17% of old people see their family and friends at least once a week[4]; it’s unsurprising then that loneliness is an epidemic and a silent plague that has been negatively effecting the lives of the elderly for decades.

Moving into a care home is a wonderful way of alleviating loneliness as whilst you will still have your own room and privacy whenever you want or need it, you will also have regular access to all of the other residents in your home: these residents will be people of your own generation and you’re likely to find you make firm friends and meet people who share similar interests to yourself.

Moving into a care home can be daunting, and many people report feeling like they are leaving their former lives behind. But its important to remember that when you choose the right care home for your particular needs you are choosing a warm and nurturing environment that will be the starting point for your next adventures.

Many care homes organise days out, have regular fun educational events or classes to help you learn new skills and develop new hobbies. Living in a care home sometimes has a bad reputation, but actually it is lots of fun, ensures you have constant access to the medical help and support you need in order to live as comfortably and independently as possible, and is a wonderful way to meet new people and alleviate loneliness. [5]

An Instant Support Group

It is sad but accurate that when you reach old age you'll find that people begin to lose their friends, spouses and life partners. Some people take these losses in their stride and some people struggle with grief and depression.

No matter how you are coping with your bereavement, you will find that in a care home you have an instant support group of your peers who understand how you feel and are going through exactly the same stage of their lives as you are. Of course, it’s important to do your research thoroughly and find the home that’s right for you.

But you will quickly find that what many consider to be the end of their life as they know it is actually the beginning of a new and exciting journey.

Further Reading
[1] Depression after the death of a loved one, Health Line,
[2] Grief, Loss and Bereavement, Alzheimer's Society,
[3] The financial impact of depression and grief, Money,
[4] Loneliness Research, Campaign to End Loneliness,
[5] Guidance for the care of older people: Facts and figures, Nursing and Midwifery Council,


Created: 2014-11-15 12:45:57
Category: Care
Tags: bereavement, depression, loneliness, support
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