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How do older people overcome sadness from constant loss as they get older?

This piece was sent to me by someone who thought it worthy of sharing. So here it is. There was no name with it to say who wrote it. You can be the picture at the top here of the old man eating dinner, or you can be the older men below. The choice is up to you.


This is one of the biggest psychological issues for the elderly and it only gets worse as the person gets older. At a nursing facility, I once worked with a woman who was in her 90s. She showed me an old picture of a group of people. One of the people was her, as a young woman. She said to me, pointing to herself in the picture, “That’s me. Everybody else in this picture is dead.”

And it’s not just loved ones that are lost. Aging involves gradual loss of function, which means loss of independence, possible loss of your home, loss of your favorite activities, and loss of meaningful roles that brought you respect from others. And the world keeps changing around you, until it hardly resembles the world you grew up in and got used to dealing with.

Sounds depressing, right? It is, to a certain extent, but I also found that I was impressed with how well most of the elders I worked with dealt with it. I found that those who continued to have strong social connections and continued to engage in meaningful activities dealt with it the best. This involved being flexible enough to be open to new relationships and new activities.

I did life review activities with some elders, which involved them reminiscing, and then creating stories and/or art pieces about the memories. I found this was often very helpful in helping the elders get a sense of positive meaning from their lives, and that helped them to cope better with their losses.

So yes, it is very hard, and yes, most elders rise to the challenge, especially if they get the right kind of help. Addendum: It’s not 100% about loss of function. I’m 62, and I just recently had cataract surgery. The surgeon put new lenses into my eyes that correct the myopia and astigmatism I had to wear glasses for ever since I was 8. Now, instead of vision decline, I see better than ever! I consider this to be a miracle of medical science.


John Bellamy Comments:

Let's face it guys, must of you reading this are of a ' certain age' where we collect our pensions and whether still working - or retired to a life of leisure - loneliness and even maybe poverty., this does affect us all.

Of course for many of the more ' out gay men' who have not been living in hiding with a wife and kids at home, will remember how many funerals we went to back in the 80's of young men like ourselves, - somewhere is our 30's, who had died of HIV / Aids and we - the survivors, had to overcome the grief after going to so many funerals - and watching as so many of our friends died and we were left with the fear, the apprehension, the conviction that - maybe - we would be next. Bereavement is very different for each of us.

Naturally like anyone else, at 68 years of age and with medical problems and cancer of the Prostate, I worry about how long I can continue and need to make plans for ' when that day comes'- and it does make me somewhat reflective and tearful at times ( no time for depression, that's not my way - ) - and then I consider the funerals of so many young guys who died in the '80's ALL who were my age at the time, and how I have had an extra 40 years - so far - on all of them - and how much I have achieved which was denied them, and how much love and passion, laughter and tears, LIFE - I have had that so many young gay men were denied and how, thankfully and with praise, I am still here, I am still sharing and I am still enjoying LIFE for all that it offers, even if very different from 20 - 30 - 40 years ago,. I am still here and BOY I am not going yet and MOST CERTAINLY not going quietly.

I read an article recently asking older people what pisses them off about the present day compared to the past and almost every single person answered - PEOPLE.

Make you own mind up as to why ...

Joh Bellamy


John. I went to a function recently filled with people of my age group ( late 60's ) and every single one of them was a bore - an absolute bore - and all the talked about was their family life and talked constantly about the Grandkids.... BORING.

Why do so many older people ' close in' on family and - seemingly - ignore the rest of the world ?

I am out there still going to events, theatre etc. still hosting weekly dinner parties for friends, still living my life with excitement and I have not ' settled into old age' which so many seem to do.



Thank God for television John. Since I retired and my partner of 37 years died, all I do is sit around the flat and watch TV all day and all night until I fell asleep in my chair and come to in the middle of the night and potter off to bed. I have no social life. I have no friends. I have no family and while I know it is up to me to make changes to my life, there is always something good on telly to watch and I really cannot be bothered. Plus - other people and their small minded approach to the LGBT community annoys the pants off me so I'd rather not bother. Old people shout all the time and talk about their fucking Grandkids and as I have always been gay and always avoided kids - the last thing I want in my old age is some fool twittering on and on about their fucking grandkids all the time.

I am quite happy thanks. so please, no one try and rescue me - or offer me alternatives, I am happy in my ( dis ) comfort and just ask to be left alone. Randolph.


Okay so these guys are not that old, but well worth a gander...

So - which of these guys would you like to meet for a couple of hours... ?

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