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Can Fam Physician. 1986 Dec;32:2699-703.

The bereaved elderly: can we help them?


Of the over one million widowed persons in Canada, 63% of the widows and 70% of the widowers are over 65 years of age. The bereaved elderly, especially elderly widowers, are at high risk for poor response to bereavement. Death of one's spouse has been rated one of the most stressful events in life, yet the literature has few studies demonstrating effective bereavement counselling for the elderly. In particular, very few of these studies have looked at the bereaved elderly male, especially in terms of the impact of bereavement intervention on both emotional and physical problems. This paper critically reviews the literature on bereavement counselling for elderly widows and widowers and suggests new pragmatic methods for helping them.

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