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Grief, Loss and Bereavement in Older Adults Teaching Module

This PowerPoint teaching module discusses definitions and symptoms of grief and grieving; complicated grief reactions; physical, emotional, social and spiritual expressions; the grief process; anticipatory grief; bereavement; and components of grief counseling. Complications of grief and grieving include depression, anxiety, suicidal thoughts, physical illness, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Issues related to traumatic and unresolved grief, the grief process, feeling and expressing grief, recovery from a crisis of attachment, continuing bonds and how this all effects older adults and grief counseling are also explored.

Advanced Competencies Addressed In This Module:

  • Conducting a comprehensive geriatric assessment of psychosocial factors that affect older persons’ physical and mental well-being
  • Ability to intervene sensitively and according to professional ethics to assist older adults and families who have diverse cultural, spiritual, and ethnic values and beliefs, including the areas of death & dying, hospice and palliative care, help-seeking, caregiving & family responsibility, physical & mental illness, and cognitive impairment
  • Ability to engage, maintain rapport, and sustain effective working relationships with a wide range of older adults (including those with behavior problems, mental illness and dementia) and their family and caregivers
  • Ability to intervene to assist individuals and families dealing with complex end of life issues regarding death, dying, bereavement, and loss
  • Designing and implementing interventions related to losses, changes and transitions over the life cycle with particular attention to:

a) the process of grief
b) differentiation of grief from clinical symptoms of depression
c) management of chronic illness and social functioning
d) knowing the impact of change of residence