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SAGE · sageusa.org

When Caregiving Ends GRIEF COUNSELING

While caregivers need support throughout the caregiving process, they also need it after their care recipient has passed away. The care recipient is someone with whom the caregiver had a close and intense relationship, and after their passing the caregiver will be faced with the dual challenge of mourning the loss of their loved one and adjusting to a life without caregiving. They may need the support of peers and providers more than ever. Bereaved caregivers should be transitioned out of caregiver support groups within a few group meetings, so as not to absorb the group’s entire focus. Recognize that this may be difficult for someone who has found significant support through the group, and put a plan in place to transition them to either a bereavement group or individual counseling. Keep in Mind: This is a time when it is particularly important not to make assumptions about the relationship between two people—just because the care recipient wasn’t a family member, for instance, doesn’t mean the caregiver’s grief is any less painful. This is also why it’s important to have a real understanding of a caregiver’s family structure. Thinking that someone has lost a friend or “roommate” when they have in fact lost their long-term partner will prevent you from offering the appropriate support.

There are two common aspects every caregiver faces—a beginning and an end, and in most cases, we are not prepared for these life changing events. Suddenly, caregiving is over and what is there left for the caregiver to do? Immersed in the care of someone else, now the former family caregiver is learning to live life differently, learning to be a caregiver to themselves.”

Christopher MacLellan, M.A. Author: “What’s The Deal with Caregiving?” Certified Caregiving Coordinator & Educator WholeCareNetwork.com Lake Worth, FL Baltimore, MD

Profile for SAGE

SAGE Careving Guide  

This guide provides an overview of caregiving in the LGBT community, and specific ideas, lessons learned and best practices for expanding pr...

SAGE Careving Guide  

This guide provides an overview of caregiving in the LGBT community, and specific ideas, lessons learned and best practices for expanding pr...

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