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Friday, October 19, 2018

How to Cope with the Death of a Loved One When You’re Miles Away

There are many reasons you might not be able to attend the funeral of a loved one, but perhaps the most difficult to accept is distance. Whether you can’t afford the trip or have obligations that prevent your attendance, grieving from afar is never easy. There are ways, however, to begin the process, even if you can’t be there to say goodbye.

Acknowledge Your Feelings

There is no way around sadness associated with loss. And though it’s tempting, don’t try to ignore your feelings by focusing on other things. You will not grieve faster nor will your anguish diminish by bottling your emotions. In fact, keeping your feelings at bay can actually make things worse for you long-term. Not giving yourself the chance to release your feelings will keep them buried just below the surface but always lingering over every moment.

Find a Positive Outlet

While you should not ignore your feelings, you should find a productive way to channel your emotions so that you may better cope with your loss. This is especially important when you aren’t in close enough proximity to help with funeral arrangements or to simply seek comfort with others who share your pain. Consider taking up painting or writing in a journal as a way to get you through those moments when all hope seems lost.

Learn to Manage Your Stress

Chances are, if you’re unable to attend a loved one’s funeral, you’re under a fair amount of stress and anxiety. If left unchecked, these emotions could lead to dangerous health problems, including high blood pressure. To help reduce stress, even if just a little, it’s important to look for techniques you can incorporate into your day. For example, you might decide to take up meditation or spend some time doing yoga. However, if you don’t have the time or energy for those activities, look into the benefits of stretching. Doing simple moves (lower back stretches, neck rolls, chin tucks, etc.) can release tension, improve your circulation, relax your muscles, and even boost your energy levels throughout the day.

Keep Up Communication

Fortunately, we live in a world where we can stay in contact with our loved ones 24/7 without ever having to step foot outside of our home. One of the most important things you can do for yourself and your family is staying in touch. This will help not only you through this trying time but will be of comfort to others. Video calls will allow you to have some valuable face time so that you can discuss your memories of and feelings related to the deceased. Apps such as Marco Polo will even let you send and receive video messages when real-time communication isn’t possible. These messages are even more valuable when you are in a remarkably different time zone than those with whom you need to remain in contact.

Prioritize Yourself

It might sound selfish, but you must learn to put yourself first throughout the grieving process. The American Cancer Society reports that grieving individuals often succumb to their intense emotions and withdraw socially, experience depression, and even feel guilty or blame themselves for the loss. You can prevent many negative behaviors by remembering that you still have your own life to live. Monitor yourself for behaviors such as isolation, drug, and alcohol use, poor hygiene, and preoccupation with death. Don’t be afraid to reach out for help if you find yourself getting lost in a bad place emotionally.

As hard as it is to accept, death is something that waits for no one. You cannot postpone the death of a loved one or bring them back so that you can be there for their passing. All you can do now is honor their memory and keep them close to your heart. Even a small memorial is a meaningful way to remember your loved one that can help you through the mourning process. No matter how you choose to mourn or how far away you may be, grief is a part of life and one that we must all inevitably experience. Stay in touch with your surviving loved ones and remember the dearly departed in your own special way. This will abate your misery and help you lead your own healthy and productive life.

Image via Pixabay

Tuesday, October 9, 2018


Planning Ahead for the Future: Tips for Seniors
Photo via Pixabay by Geralt
Thinking about your future needs can be tricky; no one can predict where they’ll be in five or 10 years. However, there are many things that can give you a good idea of what your health needs will be, and it’s important to consider this when you’re planning ahead. For many seniors, finding a way to pay for potential medical issues can be stressful; even those with health insurance and Medicare may need to pay for some things out-of-pocket, and those costs can really add up. Your post-retirement savings may not be enough to help you get through, especially if you need long-term care after an injury or illness.

One of the keys to planning for the future is to take a look at your current lifestyle and wellness. If you have health issues that could possibly be improved by diet or other lifestyle changes, it’s important to talk to your doctor and figure out the best way to get started. If you’re predisposed to certain diseases due to a family history, look for ways to stay as healthy as possible. 

Keep reading for the best tips on how to plan for your future.

Think About the Right Insurance

The right insurance will help you prepare for any issues that come along during your senior years, but it’s important to plan ahead. For instance, getting long-term care insurance when you’re younger can save you money; typicallyrates increase by 2 to 4 percent when you’re in your 50s compared to 6 to 8 percent in your 60s. This type of insurance can help you pay for your care should you need to stay in a nursing home or hospital for an extended period of time.

Take a Look at Your Current Health

For most seniors, a good diet and exercise plan can go a long way toward maintaining good health, but if you suffer from mobility issues, diabetes, or have a lifestyle-related issue such as a chronic cough from smoking, it’s time to take a look at how you can make some positive changes that will help boost your health for the future. Talk to your doctor about how you can get started, and remember not to make any big changes without prior approval. 

Pad Your Savings

Your savings account is a major factor in how you’ll find the funds to pay for medical bills and long-term care should you need it, and even if you have a good amount put back, it’s always a good idea to pad it a bit. You can sell a life insurance policy, downsize to a smaller home, or switch to energy-efficient appliances and lighting to save money on your utility bills each month. Look for the best ways you can save money while still focusing on your needs.

Make Your Current Home Work for You

Aging in place is important to many seniors, but it’s not always a viable option due to the layout of a home or potential safety hazards. In order to make sure you can stay in your own home for as long as possible without fear of injury, make some simple modifications that will keep you safe, such as adding a grab bar and non-slip mat in the shower, placing more lighting in each room to prevent falls, or adding a ramp to the front of your home. 

Planning for the future can be stressful, so it’s important to go slowly and garner support from your friends and family during the process. Talk to other seniors who have made changes to their homes and lifestyles to get some advice on how to proceed, and remember not to make a major decision until you have all the facts. With a good plan, you can ensure your future looks bright.