Long-Term Care

Coping with death

LTC Nursing Assistant Trainer, August 27, 2009

When a resident passes away, all of a professional caregiver’s energies go into helping the family and other residents cope with the loss of their loved one. We often forget that caregivers also grieve over the loss of people they care about. Staff members develop relationships and attachments with residents, so when a resident dies, workers may experience grief, even though they do not always recognize it.

It is important for staff members to find some way of coping with the range of emotions and issues that accompany death – whether it is a good cry or a regular grief session with coworkers. Facing suffering, disability, and death day after day at the workplace causes increasing stress and drains the energy of the care provider. Learning how to manage difficult emotions helps staff members in many ways. Their lives are less stressful when they know how to deal with guilt, anger, anxiety, and sadness.

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