Good grief: older people's experience of partner bereavement

Document type
Seymour, Catherine; Bushnell, Jeremy; Dobson, Sarah
Independent Age
Date of publication
26 April 2018
Older Adults, Social Work, Social Care and Social Services, Mental health services, Health Services
Social welfare
Material type

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Death and bereavement are not well recognised within UK society. Where policy does exist, it is disparate and unconnected. Support for bereaved older people is highly localised and depends on the availability and attention of third sector organisations.

Older people’s experiences following the loss of a partner vary hugely. Independent Age set out to learn more about those experiences and understand what can be done to ensure more have positive outcomes.

This report brings together what is already known about older people’s experiences of bereavement with new research centred on older people whose partners have died. It focuses on some of the issues faced by those living with the grief of losing a loved one.

This research also reveals how talking about death, at an individual and a policy level, can start to provide the help that older people need when faced with the most difficult moment of their lives.

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