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How to Recognize Different Types of Grief

We have many families, clients and even caregivers that often experience feelings of grief. It's important to understand different types of grief when working with the elderly and families.

Different types of grief include:

  1. Anticipatory - anticipating the impending loss (often occurs when a loved one has Alzheimer's or dementia and does not recognize family or familiar things/surroundings) one begins to feel the loss before the physical loss/death happens

  2. Normal/Typical/Uncomplicated - grieving process is normal or typical or uncomplicated (can have acute pain but it passes)

  3. Complicated/At-Risk for Complicated - grieving process still very acute after a significant amount of time (often occurs when a child - even adult child, dies before a parent)

  4. Disenfranchised - relationship was not socially or publicly sanctioned

  5. Absent - feelings of grief or mourning not present

  6. Chronic - continuous and intense grief

  7. Unresolved - normal process of grief is interrupted

  8. Traumatic - resulting from traumatic experiences

  9. Pathological - when day to day functioning is impaired

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