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Kendal at Oberlin Blog

Single Older Adults Due to Divorce or Loss

Posted by Molly Kavanaugh on May 9, 2015 11:26:00 AM

older-adult-fixing-flowersBecoming single as an older adult, through the loss of a loved one or through divorce, is a challenging adjustment. Grief is a natural reaction to loss, and the timeframe for grieving varies from person to person. It’s important to take the necessary time you need to make this adjustment and find balance in your life.

What can you do?

During the grieving process you can:

  • Take care of your health

  • Let others help you

  • Exercise to release stress

  • Join a support group

  • Talk to a friend

  • Express how you feel

  • Rest


Don’t give yourself a timetable for “getting over it.” It is possible you may never get over it, but with time, you can come to terms with it. Loss or grief is transformational. A counselor or other professional might help you move forward and accept the new reality.

How do you start moving in the direction of your new life?

Besides continuing the friendships and activities that you have enjoyed, some suggestions are to:

  • Become a docent at a museum or volunteer at a hospital, school, or social service agency

  • Learn Tai Chi or yoga

  • Take a class at a community college, or audit one at a local college

  • Check out your local community center for activities and trips

  • Join a walking or hiking group

  • Join a book club at your local library


Notice that many of these are social activities. Spending time with others may help you learn to cope with your loss, and come to realize that there is still much to look forward to. This is a new chapter in your life, and you can decide what it is going to look like. It can become rich and rewarding with new friendships, activities and interests.

Start living the good life


Topics: Healthy Aging

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