Provide hope   

Hope that life will have meaning again is vital. Though of course they may not feel this way, after some months and only where appropriate, suggest a fresh focus of interest even if for a future time. Emphasising that it will give them joy and their overwhelming level of sadness will subside, eventually will be a huge support. 

Maintain contact

For no reason in particular make contact with your loved one regularly. It’s best to when possible see them in person, give them hug and they can enjoy your presence. When being there in person is not possible Skype is much better than a call as you can see the person. It’s better to have briefer contact at more regular intervals.

Take them out to events they would enjoy

Theatre, concerts and similar social days out can be a boost. A good place to start would be with things your parent used to enjoy, that perhaps feels they can no longer do.


Though practical help is valuable it won’t help the person in pain feel better. At this time they are most likely in shock and aren’t functioning normally so the right person’s presence can be very comforting. One of the most important elements to providing comfort is social support. Listen to their stories, let them repeat themselves. Ask them how they’re feeling each day. Truly listening, engaging in eye contact and giving them your attention is a lifeline to people that are grieving.

If anger arises, be understanding

It’s very unlikely to be anything to do with you, an angry outburst or a short fuse is commonplace, with strangers and close relations alike. Mainly because no one can give them what they want most.

Find community resources on their behalf

Any social opportunities that may interest them and help make new connections and possibly friends while establishing a routine. Bingo, bridge, book clubs, art classes, dances and the like are worth experimenting with, you could go with them at the start to help ease the transition.


If you are looking for care, Care Sourcer offers a free searchable directory of local care agenciesIf you need care urgently, we also have a team of care experts who are available by telephone to help guide you through the process.