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Helping an Elderly Person
Who’s Giving Up on Life

Psychology behind, giving up hope

As we go through life, we experience situations that cause us to grieve and to grow in new ways. These events could happen suddenly, like the death of a loved one or loss of a job or career, they could happen slowly over time, like with loss of mobility and memory.

As a person ages, it can become more difficult to maintain hope after such events. After a fall or surgery, the pain and helplessness can create feelings of despair and hopelessness, making death seem like a relief. When an elderly person is giving up on life, he or she may just stop maintaining personal hygiene, eating or using the restroom without assistance, or getting out of bed.

As a caregiver, it’s important to understand what your loved one is going through, so you can help him or her regain perspective and adjust to a different lifestyle. Watching a parent or other family member simply stop trying to care for himself or herself can be worrisome and frustrating, but there are things you can do to help.

If you suspect your aging parent is giving up on life or struggling with feelings of despair, talk with his or her doctor. A healthcare professional can check for signs of depression, anxiety and dementia, and recommend treatments such as medication, exercise, or even physical therapy. If you need help caring for your loved one, consider in-home senior care to take care of activities of daily living such as cleaning, bathing, cooking, and more.

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