Counselling for loss in later life

Counselling for loss in later life, by Yvonne at Daisy Vision Counselling

Counselling for loss in later life is something that is overlooked. The older people in our society are not always adequately provided for when it comes to supporting them through the grieving process despite often experiencing an increased number of losses for which they need to grieve.

In addition to the obvious loss when a loved one dies, which is naturally more likely as we get older, we may also face many other losses that lead to grief:


Down-sizing of home
Health and mobility issues
Moving into a care home or nursing home


Most of these losses inevitably come with getting older and people are just expected to accept them, but in reality people need to grieve these losses just as much as the younger generations do their losses.


According to Dr. Schmall, president and gerontology specialist at Aging Concerns, West Linn, Ore, grieving is necessary for

“Anything lost in which a person has invested their emotions, attention, time, energy, or dreams”.



For someone reaching retirement age, the loss of the working week, being a team-member, and someone whose opinion mattered, can be an immense shock and leave them feeling a lack of self-worth, and purpose, particularly if by the time they retire their spouse or partner has died.



This can be necessary due to financial pressures, or due to not being able to manage their house any longer due to physical ailments. This can represent a huge loss, particularly if the whole of their married life has been spent there, raising their children and then associated with family gatherings. It has so many emotional ties which have to be broken.


Health and mobility issues:

The loss of independence due to illness and reduced mobility can cause the same types of emotions and sense of loss that we experience in the death of a loved one, such as denial, extreme sadness, and anger. The need to grieve these losses is often ignored rather than encouraged. It can lead to loneliness due to difficulty in getting out to socialise and having no one to talk to, to help with the grieving process.


Moving into a care home or nursing home:

Moving into a care home or nursing home can bring about a huge sense of loss in later life. It can be a massive wrench to be forced to leave your home, due to the need to be cared for due to age or illness that requires nursing. It brings about so many life changes which may be seen as something that you just have to accept as inevitable with old age. Again, I feel it’s important that our elderly relatives should be allowed and helped to grieve by having someone to talk to rather than possibly being given medication to help suppress their emotions. Some care homes recommend counselling to help with this massive transition in later life.


As we get older, we have less people we feel we can talk to – someone who has retired tends to have a reduced number of close friends, has often lost their partner and lives alone, and doesn’t feel they can talk to their children or grandchildren who all have busy lives.

Although many older people have not ever considered counselling to help with the struggles of life, loss in later life is an area in which they may really benefit from having someone to talk things through with rather than trying to struggle on alone.


I offer counselling for loss in later life using Zoom or on the phone for those who don’t wish to use Zoom.


Care homes will often facilitate Zoom meetings for support of their residents, including counselling, so that your elderly relatives don't have to worry about the technicalities of how to talk to someone on Zoom. However, for those who'd prefer, I can provide counselling on the phone, so that it's more like having a conversation with a friend or relative.


To talk about counselling for loss you can ring me on 07726 465229 or email [email protected].