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Loss Physical (loss of something tangible) Psychosocial: (loss of something symbolic or intangible)

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Presentation on theme: "Loss Physical (loss of something tangible) Psychosocial: (loss of something symbolic or intangible)"— Presentation transcript:

1 Loss Physical (loss of something tangible) Psychosocial: (loss of something symbolic or intangible)

2 Change : always constitutes loss Developmental change Normal change and growth Competency-based loss

3 Secondary loss A loss that coincides with or develops as a consequence of the initial loss. (examples: loss of income when spouse dies, loss of concept of self as healthy when serious illness occurs)

4 Grief & Mourning Grief: the process of experiencing the psychological, behavioral, social, and physical reactions to the perception of loss. Mourning: the work of adapting and changing as a result of the loss

5 Grief Experienced in four major ways: psychologically, behaviorally, socially, physically A continuing development A natural reaction Expected with all types of loss Dependent upon the individual’s perception of the loss

6 Mourning Reacting to separation from the deceased Modification of roles, skills, identity Learning to live in a healthy way without the deceased

7 Myths & Misconceptions Grief declines steadily over time The mourner must put the loss out of mind Intensity and length of mourning are a testimony to love Grief involves only the loss of the person Mourning is complete in a year Time is a healer

8 Danger: don’t rigidly apply grief theory Commonalities exist Idiosyncratic variations occur It’s not a static state, but rather a process of many changes over time

9 Kubler-Ross’ Stages Denial Anger Bargaining Depression Acceptance

10 Why think about death? To give meaning to human existence To encourage productivity & enjoyment of life To prepare for ultimate acceptance of death

11 Ways to prepare: Be close to someone who is facing death with inner peace Plan financially Develop solid support Incorporate religious beliefs into life

12 How can we help??? Denial: support without reinforcing Stay physically present Offer regressive care (food, drink, safety)

13 How can we help??? Anger Provide anticipatory guidance Don’t take it personally Meet needs that precipitate anger

14 How can we help??? Bargaining Provide information for decision-making Offer resources and referrals

15 How can we help??? Despair Supportive listening Touch Avoid cliches Assess risk of harm to self

16 How can we help??? Acceptance Assist in planning Utilize cultural practices Allow expression of feelings Accept changes in feelings Support groups for patient & families

17 Hospice Care A philosophy of caring for the dying Curing vs. Caring Criteria for moving to hospice care

18 Helpful hints: Don’t ask whether I’m ‘over it’. I’ll never be ‘over it’. Don’t tell me he’s in a better place. He isn’t here. Don’t say “At least he isn’t suffering”. I wonder why he had to suffer at all. Don’t tell me you know how I feel unless you have had the same experience. Don’t tell me ‘God doesn’t make mistakes’; you mean God did this on purpose??? Don’t tell me ‘God doesn’t give more than we can handle’. I don’t feel like I am “handling” it.

19 Please just say: That you are sorry. That you miss him too, if you do. That you will listen.

20 As we learn to help: “Birds make great sky circles of their freedom. But how do they learn it? They learn by falling, and by falling they’re given wings.


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