Episode #132 – Helping Seniors Deal with Loss


valerie martellDoes a loved one’s passing make you more aware of the time you have left? Can you imagine how distressing this is for an elderly person? The word “retirement” brings to mind images of travel and golfing for many, but the “golden years” come with a definite downside.

Loss can come in multiple forms as we grow older. We can lose our peers, our good health, and the ability to keep up with basic, day-to-day tasks. Isn’t the thought alone distressing enough? How do we help seniors deal with loss, when they experience so much of it.

If you want to know more about helping seniors deal with loss, then listen to this episode of Forever in their Hearts, where host Erik Reynolds talks with Valerie Martell, Director of Operations for Martin Brothers Funeral Services who offers advice on the topic.

Senior family members and friends need to find a new normal that respects loss if they’re going to live life to the fullest. This interview is a chance to learn how to help them achieve it.

Helping Seniors Adapt to Their “New Normal”

Valerie kicks off the episode by sharing how to help seniors who experience multi-dimensional loss, such as the loss of health, loss of job, loss of peers to death, and so forth.

Next Valerie goes on to offer specific suggestions for how to be present for a senior family member or other loved one with respects to the other responsibilities we have in our lives.

Multi-dimensional loss can affect a person’s mental health, as well. Can you see why helping seniors deal with loss is so important to our families and communities?

Multiple Losses and a Dwindling Social Network

Then you’ll hear Valerie discuss the impact of losing multiple peers on the social network of an elderly person. During the podcast she provides answers for questions such as:

  • How can we make the elderly feel like a valued part of society?
  • What can we do to help someone adapt to their new lifestyle?
  • Do I have to make a grand gesture or can I do something small?

Now ask yourself these two things: Is there an elderly person in my life? Am I a senior adult in need of ways to adjust to my “new normal”? If you answered “Yes” to either or both of these questions, then Valerie’s advice may assist with helping seniors deal with loss.

Seniors and the Risk of Depression

Next Valerie touches on the topic of senior adults and depression. She explains why depression, which isn’t limited to the Greater Vancouver area by far, affects so many elderly people.

Valerie goes on to explain what signs to look for based on her experiences in working at the funeral chapel. These signs could be part of aging, but they could be a distress call for help.

The signs of depressions in elderly adults, as Valerie explains, could exhibit themselves as mental symptoms, physical symptoms, or both mental and physical symptoms.

Valerie wraps things up by reminding that these signs are not like normal grief, and outlines how the two differ.

Are You Helping Seniors Deal with Loss?

Is there an elderly person in your life who has trouble coping with loss? Are you an older person who battles depression while coping with the changes life brings? Listen to the podcast now and then share your questions and comments below where we can discuss them together.

Martin Brothers Funeral Services has more than 100 years of experience in providing thoughtful, dedicated services to families dealing with loss. If you are ready to take care of funeral pre-arrangements, have additional questions about their services, or are dealing with a loss, please contact them at their Vancouver office.

Martin Brothers Funeral Services

Vancouver: Funeral Services Centre
3398 Dunbar Street
Vancouver, BC Canada V6S 2C1

Telephone Number: 778.330.7799
Toll Free Number: 1.800.382.2901
Fax Number: 778.330.7633



Martin Brothers Funeral Services provides caring, dedicated and thoughtful service to families dealing with the loss of a loved one. We have four generations of funeral services experience and are here to guide you through all of the details, large and small, and always take the time to understand what is important to you and your family in your time of need. We have over 100 years of experience in funeral services and we are a funeral home in Vancouver who gives you affordable funeral services, funeral pre planning, cremation and burial services. We will make sure all of yours and your family's needs are met, and will be a guide in your time of need to ensure that your loved one lost is treated with the dignity and respect they deserve. Martin Brothers is here in your time of need, call today.

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