Virtual Support May Ease Grief in Older Adults

Support groups are a very helpful resource for individuals grieving from the death of a spouse; but for older adults, obstacles such as geographic location and physical immobility can sometimes make it difficult to attend these groups in person. Now a new study shows that an online virtual support group may be an effective option for older adults dealing with grief. Researchers used the online platform Second Life to create a private virtual living room in a seaside cabin, where small groups of three to six people could virtually gather. Participants, who all had lost a partner in the last one to three years, chose avatars — or animated figures — to represent them in the space. Then, from the comfort of their own homes, they communicated in real-time with mental health professionals and other bereaved spouses by typing via a chat program. By the end of the study period, this approach was associated with self-reported improvements in symptoms of depression. For the study, Lindsey

Source: Virtual Support May Ease Grief in Older Adults

About Sue Diane Rosenbloom, CT, MA

Thanatologist: Loss, Trauma, Crisis, Death, and Grief Educator - My blog is for educational purposes only. I am not a licensed professional counselor - Bachelor of Arts in Human Studies - Marylhurst University (2007) Certificate in Thanatology - Hood College (2008) Master of Arts in Thanatology - Hood College (2009) Certificate in Thanatology - The-Association for Death Education and Counseling (the highest level of loss and grief education). * Hospice, Alzheimer's and Senior's Advocate * Former first responder for Trauma Intervention Program, Inc. (TIP) * Former Hospice and Bereavement Volunteer for Providence Hospice Bereavement Program * Association for Death Education and Counseling Member * National Alliance for Bereavement of Children * Hood College Thanatology Association * American Group Psychotherapy Association * Hospice, Loss, Grief and Bereavement Researcher
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