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Grief and the COVID-19 Pandemic in Older Adults

•What are the challenges faced by older adults who lose a loved one during the COVID-19 pandemic?•The risk for prolonged grief disorder is likely to be increased among those older adults who lose a loved one during this pandemic. The challenges introduced by physical distancing restrictions have cha... Full description

Journal Title: The American journal of geriatric psychiatry 2020-10, Vol.28 (10), p.1119-1125
Main Author: Goveas, Joseph S
Other Authors: Shear, M. Katherine
Format: Electronic Article Electronic Article
Language: English
Subjects:
Quelle: Alma/SFX Local Collection
Publisher: England: Elsevier Inc
ID: ISSN: 1064-7481
Link: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/32709542
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recordid: cdi_pubmedcentral_primary_oai_pubmedcentral_nih_gov_7320675
title: Grief and the COVID-19 Pandemic in Older Adults
format: Article
creator:
  • Goveas, Joseph S
  • Shear, M. Katherine
subjects:
  • acute grief
  • Aged
  • aging
  • Bereavement
  • Betacoronavirus
  • Ceremonial Behavior
  • complicated grief
  • Coronavirus Infections - epidemiology
  • COVID-19
  • Grief
  • Humans
  • Medical diagnosis
  • novel coronavirus disease 2019
  • older adults
  • Pandemics
  • Pneumonia, Viral - epidemiology
  • prolonged grief disorder
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • Terminal Care
  • the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2
ispartof: The American journal of geriatric psychiatry, 2020-10, Vol.28 (10), p.1119-1125
description: •What are the challenges faced by older adults who lose a loved one during the COVID-19 pandemic?•The risk for prolonged grief disorder is likely to be increased among those older adults who lose a loved one during this pandemic. The challenges introduced by physical distancing restrictions have changed the experience of dying. Other COVID-19-related stress and loss have further disrupted the grieving process.•Awareness of this risk can motivate timely preventive and/or treatment interventions that may mitigate the development of prolonged grief disorder and other bereavement-related mental health conditions in older adults. Delivering evidence-based interventions using telehealth services is feasible. We believe urgent action is warranted to make COVID-19-era telehealth policies permanent beyond the pandemic. In few periods in human history have bereavement and grief been on so many people's minds as they are today. As the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) ravages the world, we have seen many perish in a short time. Many have died alone because of requirements for physical distancing. Even more will succumb as COVID-19 continues to spread. Moreover, deaths from other causes, numbering over 50 million annually, are also happening amid physical distancing and other COVID-19-related challenges. The pandemic is affecting the way terminally ill patients are being cared for, when and how people are dying of other causes, and how bodies are being handled and bereavement rituals performed. The bereaved are required to grieve without the support of usual social and cultural rituals. Grieving is further encumbered by cascading life stressors deriving from policies needed to mitigate the pandemic. Though we are often heartened by human resilience in response to death and other hardships, for some, the burden of this pandemic will be too much. Among other mental health problems, we will likely see an increase in prolonged grief disorder. In this commentary, we review the new diagnosis of prolonged grief disorder and outline why we might anticipate increased rates of this condition on the heels of COVID-19, especially among older persons. The authors suggest ways that might mitigate this emerging problem.
language: eng
source: Alma/SFX Local Collection
identifier: ISSN: 1064-7481
fulltext: fulltext
issn:
  • 1064-7481
  • 1545-7214
url: Link


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description•What are the challenges faced by older adults who lose a loved one during the COVID-19 pandemic?•The risk for prolonged grief disorder is likely to be increased among those older adults who lose a loved one during this pandemic. The challenges introduced by physical distancing restrictions have changed the experience of dying. Other COVID-19-related stress and loss have further disrupted the grieving process.•Awareness of this risk can motivate timely preventive and/or treatment interventions that may mitigate the development of prolonged grief disorder and other bereavement-related mental health conditions in older adults. Delivering evidence-based interventions using telehealth services is feasible. We believe urgent action is warranted to make COVID-19-era telehealth policies permanent beyond the pandemic. In few periods in human history have bereavement and grief been on so many people's minds as they are today. As the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) ravages the world, we have seen many perish in a short time. Many have died alone because of requirements for physical distancing. Even more will succumb as COVID-19 continues to spread. Moreover, deaths from other causes, numbering over 50 million annually, are also happening amid physical distancing and other COVID-19-related challenges. The pandemic is affecting the way terminally ill patients are being cared for, when and how people are dying of other causes, and how bodies are being handled and bereavement rituals performed. The bereaved are required to grieve without the support of usual social and cultural rituals. Grieving is further encumbered by cascading life stressors deriving from policies needed to mitigate the pandemic. Though we are often heartened by human resilience in response to death and other hardships, for some, the burden of this pandemic will be too much. Among other mental health problems, we will likely see an increase in prolonged grief disorder. In this commentary, we review the new diagnosis of prolonged grief disorder and outline why we might anticipate increased rates of this condition on the heels of COVID-19, especially among older persons. The authors suggest ways that might mitigate this emerging problem.
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abstract•What are the challenges faced by older adults who lose a loved one during the COVID-19 pandemic?•The risk for prolonged grief disorder is likely to be increased among those older adults who lose a loved one during this pandemic. The challenges introduced by physical distancing restrictions have changed the experience of dying. Other COVID-19-related stress and loss have further disrupted the grieving process.•Awareness of this risk can motivate timely preventive and/or treatment interventions that may mitigate the development of prolonged grief disorder and other bereavement-related mental health conditions in older adults. Delivering evidence-based interventions using telehealth services is feasible. We believe urgent action is warranted to make COVID-19-era telehealth policies permanent beyond the pandemic. In few periods in human history have bereavement and grief been on so many people's minds as they are today. As the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) ravages the world, we have seen many perish in a short time. Many have died alone because of requirements for physical distancing. Even more will succumb as COVID-19 continues to spread. Moreover, deaths from other causes, numbering over 50 million annually, are also happening amid physical distancing and other COVID-19-related challenges. The pandemic is affecting the way terminally ill patients are being cared for, when and how people are dying of other causes, and how bodies are being handled and bereavement rituals performed. The bereaved are required to grieve without the support of usual social and cultural rituals. Grieving is further encumbered by cascading life stressors deriving from policies needed to mitigate the pandemic. Though we are often heartened by human resilience in response to death and other hardships, for some, the burden of this pandemic will be too much. Among other mental health problems, we will likely see an increase in prolonged grief disorder. In this commentary, we review the new diagnosis of prolonged grief disorder and outline why we might anticipate increased rates of this condition on the heels of COVID-19, especially among older persons. The authors suggest ways that might mitigate this emerging problem.
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