Dan White at Evergreen Washelli talks about how a big part of taking care of seniors is taking care of them upon their passing. It’s a huge emotion process, especially when you’ve been holding their hand and fighting for their quality of life for so long. We talk about what goes through families when they’re grieving.
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*The following is the output of transcribing from an audio recording. Although the transcription is largely accurate, in some cases it is incomplete or inaccurate due to inaudible passages or transcription errors.
The following podcast is a special presentation of answers for elders featuring evergreen was shelley and welcome to answers for elders radio everyone. And we are here with a very special guest, Mr Dan White from Evergreen Wash Shelley. He’s the Northwest Territory Manager for Abby View Memorial Park. Dan, welcome to the program today. Thanks you, Anne. Pleasure to be here. You know, I’m glad we are really we’re talking about this topic because the the big piece of taking care of seniors is that we’re all going to have them most likely be involved in taking care of them after they pass in upon passing away, and there’s an emotional process to that. I know with my mom it was a huge emotional process, and especially because you’ve been holding their hand and you know and and fighting for their quality of life for so long and then all of a sudden there’s this time when they pass. Tell me a little bit about what goes through families when they are grieving. Okay, well, let me let me preface that with this that you know, statistically, the worst life event is stressful wise is the loss of a loved one. That’s number one. MMMMM, I believe that number five is a loss of a family member. Wow, number seventeen is a loss of a very close friend. So you can see that in any of those events it does cause a lot of stress and of course with that there comes a grieving process. M So we like to talk about what we call the ten stages of grief. O, there’s ten interesting ten. The first one is really a shock because even though you may be caring for your loved one and they may be in hospice and such, you may think you’re prepared for it, but when it does happen there you’re not. So there is shock. So that is definitely what you will experience, and people handle that in totally different ways. Some people completely with draw and don’t associate. Some step up and block their grieving process because they know they have to be the strong one. Yes, as they say. So that’s one. That’s one stage. Then there is what we call emotional reliefs, and that’s when you start to realize and begin to hurt and feel really what’s what’s going on. So there is that. There’s also what we call preoccupation with the decease, where you you focus. That’s all all and eats up most of your time and your devotion is on focusing about that person. And how does that manifest itself? Normally? Well, that can manifest itself in a couple of different ways. Is that you just start if you’re sitting and just having a cup of coffee, then all of a sudden you’re thinking about, wow, I really miss them and and they are now gone. And I can only speak from my own experience of losing my mother when I was twenty one and that was that was now one thousand nine hundred and seventy eight, so that was a long, long time ago, but I do remember at that point my fixation was on, wow, I’ve lost my mom. What am I going to do now? And so every day that would be a feeling of maybe paralyzing in some cases emotionally, as just can be. It makes it makes it sometimes difficult. How can I go forward without this person? Yeah, my life, especially if you’re losing a spouse, SPEC you have, you know, shared memories together. That all are going to change. There’s got to be a lot of different things that people that are with and you’re absolutely right, because now when you have that preoccupation of the decease, now the emotional stress now begins to manifest itself in physical ailment. We all know what doctor say about stress and how it can make you feel and and it could lead to stations of depression. It could also another stage, could be hostile reactions, because some people, believe it or not, do get angry. They lose all, I’m sure they do. You left me and you left me with all this stuff to do, and I especially I see some of that sometimes when wives lose their husband’s because at the age group and with seniors, you know, it’s just been pretty much customary that a lot of times the husband was taken care of all the finances and paying all the bills and doing that, or or it’s just the opposite sometimes, where the wife does the same thing but the other spouse isn’t involved. It’s not a joint effort right, and then when they lose that person, that spouse that has been responsible for caring for them in so many ways, they’re lost, they’re one. It’s and I can really equate this to a lot of the families that we work with with seniors. There’s a lot of resentment sometimes in the airs of the loved one because maybe you know daughter took care of mom while she aged and as a result, daughter is the primary are of mom’s home. And then this rest of siblings are angry at mom, but even though she’s passed on and mom made the choice, because obviously the daughters the one that stepped up. This is obviously a lot of things that go on. I’m sure that can be a lot of anger amongst the scenario, you know, and can be taken out on the caregiver, yes, and that’s rightfully so. So along with that, along those same lines, with those kinds of anger or hostile reactions, guilt can also play like I didn’t do enough, I could have saved yeah, and that one I can relate personally again, because when my mom passed at twenty one, I received the phone call. I was in California and she passed away in Kansas City and all the way flying back, I should have been there. What could I’ve done? Yeah, I could have saved her. I could have been there. So you go through those kinds of processes. Well, we’ve and we’ve touched on depression, but the other thing would be withdrawal, I mean isolation. People will withdraw and isolate because they don’t want to interact with others, yes, and get back involved, and I’m sure you’ve seen that in that especially in dealing with surviving spouses, and absolutely so. We are talking here today with Mr Dan White from evergreen washed shelley. He is the Northwest Territory manage sure of Aby Abby View Memorial Park. Dan, we’re talking about, you know, basically the stages of grief and I’ve always heard about, you know, the I think it’s five stages, but now you’re talking about ten, and this is important because I’m really identifying with a lot of these. That’s good. Yeah, that’s good. So tell us a little bit more about some of the other ones that we that you share. Well, the the other one that we share is reentry into relationships, and really what that deals with is over time, and no one really knows how much that time is that because everybody does grieve differently. But I have seen families or spouses that will get involved early, within six months. I’ve seen some that will not get involved for two to three years or maybe ever. Maybe ever. Yeah, that is one of the to begin to get out again, to start living your life again. That’s also that’s the better one. The last one would be the resolution and readjustment really to reality, to living for yourself again and kind of redefining what it is that you do. You know, those are all really interesting stages and I certainly relate to every single one of them. But I’m also kind of sitting back thinking. You know, I know people who have lost loved ones. How can and you guys are in the business of grief, I mean you work with those that are comforting those who are in grief. What are some tools and and, I guess, advice that you can give us a how can you support best support those that are grieving? Well, best way to support those are grieving is to go on the Internet. There are an awful lot of information around grief, grief counseling, there are support grooves, survivors for widows, widowers. I would encourage for those people to get involved with them, to seek to be in community. Yeah, is is probably the most helpful. Did you reach out to people that are grieving? Sure, sure, okay, so can and and obviously don’t take it personal if they they’re not know you know, you just need to be able to give them their space because everybody is different. But if you can be there to support, but not necessarily nudge or give your advice, to be aware and really think on them and what it is that they need for you. So that’s probably a good question or a good thing. What can I do to help? Is there anything that I can offer? Well, and I think the other thing is is just sometimes when you’re grieving, you don’t know what you need. Sometimes you don’t know what you want from somebody else. So it’s like sometimes just being an air to listen. You know, maybe maybe you offer that friendship that I’m here. What, if whatever you need from me as a good friend in caring for that loved one or that that friend that’s going through. I know I just had a friend who lost her mother and you know from my hometown and I felt terrible that I couldn’t go be with her up and but you know, it’s the feeling of you know, what can I do? It’s the sometimes we from the outside kind of feel lost that we don’t know how we can support those that have lost a loved one and and so anything that you know we can do. Just seriously, I don’t I know so many people they don’t even know how to write a sympathy not because you don’t know what to say exactly. So that is maybe an another topic for another show. That is another time, because that can go on for quite a bit. But yeah, there are lots and lots of sources, lots of great books that are out there. We have a great book. Trying to think of the name. I don’t have it, but I will get it to you so that we yes, could, yes, find and it’s done by a local professor here at one of the colleges who’s been in the deathcare business for thirty years. Oh Wow. And it really is set up with on the left side of the page is a symptom that you may be feeling or as grieving in such one at all. The right hand side it is gives you several options of how you can get better. That’s awesome. So, Dan, how do we reach you? You can reach me at the Abbey View Memorial Park by calling us at four, two, five for a three, zero, five, five, five. You can check us out on facebook at Abbey View Memorial Park, or you can email me at d white at Wash Shellycom. Dan, we’re so glad that you are a frequent cast on our program because I learned something every time. Thanks so much. Thank you. This has been a special presentation of answers for elders, featuring evergreen. Was Shelley for more information about evergreen? Was Shelley. Their website is was Shelleycom? That’s Wa Shallcom
Suzanne Newman, host of the Answers for Elders radio show and podcast, proclaims often, “Caring for my mom was the hardest thing I ever have done, but it was also my greatest privilege.” Following a career of over 25 years in sales, media, and marketing management, Suzanne embarked on a 6-year-journey caring for her mother. Her trials and tribulations as a family caregiver inspired an impassioned life mission outside of the corporate world to revolutionize the journey that so many other American families also find themselves on. Answers for Elders provides education, help, and support to families, caregivers, and seniors across the country who are experiencing their own unique journey within the complicated world of Eldercare. Each week, Suzanne is joined by vetted professional experts in over 65 categories including health & wellness, life changes, living options, money, law, and more. Suzanne lives in Edmonds, Washington with her husband, Keith, and their two doodle dogs, Whidbey and Skagit.