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What Happens When a Senior Citizen Loses a Spouse?

Grief – it isn’t something that should be taken lightly. There are many senior citizens that lose a spouse. In many cases, they have been together for years and years. Spending time with a spouse can be one of the most rewarding things. Memories are made and some of them are never forgotten. However, many people want to know and understand, what happens when a senior citizen loses a spouse?

Grief and Its Physical Effects

Losing a spouse can take a huge toll on a senior’s physical health. According to the American Psychological Association, the 1st year in widowhood increases the mental and physical toll on many people, especially women. They stop functioning as well, socially. Health issues may set in such as headaches, stomachaches, and more.

Increased Risk of Heart Attack

Losing a spouse, especially in the elderly years, can greatly increase the risk of heart attacks. In fact, according to a Medical Center study, the risk is 21 times higher than usual. That research shows that the anxiety and stress from losing a loved one might trigger responses from the body that actually damage one’s heart.


As mentioned above, grief can be one of the toughest things to work through. Losing a spouse, no matter how many years the 2 people have been together, is heartbreaking. It can take a long time to recover from the death of a loved one, especially a spouse. The grieving process is different for everyone. If a senior citizen in your life has lost their spouse, be sure to understand they are grieving. Everyone experiences it in a different way.

Getting Support

It is essential that anyone who loses a spouse gets the support they need. This is especially true for the elderly. Many people who lose a spouse will start isolating themselves. This can increase the risk of depression and other mental health illnesses, as well. If you know of a senior citizen who has lost a spouse, it is important to support them. You may want to hire caregivers to come and keep them company.

These are some of the things that happen when a senior citizen loses their spouse. This can be one of the toughest things to ever have to deal with. Many senior citizens have been with their spouses for decades. The love, bond, and memories they have shared together are truly priceless. It is important to understand all that they are going through. It is important to understand that they are grieving. Understand that they are going to need time to heal. In the meantime, just do your best to be there for them. Maybe hire some caregivers to keep them company.


If you or an aging loved one is considering caregivers in Franktown, CO, please contact the caring staff at SYNERGY HomeCare today at 303-953-9924.