Carers need more grief counselling

Family carers of people with dementia have a much greater need of formal grief counselling than other groups deemed eligible for bereavement care.  Findings from a UCL study of pre-death grief, published in the Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, show that the need for formal counselling for dementia carers was around 300% higher than current predictions suggest.  The study found that 30% of dementia carers needed professional support rather than the 10-12% indicated by existing public health framework, which assumes most people will adapt to loss through their social networks.  Pre-death grief is described in the paper as the carer’s response to “perceived losses in a valued care recipient.” Lead researcher Kirsten Moore said: “Our research showed that 78% of those caring for someone with dementia reported experiencing pre-death grief. The participants cited that finding the right person to talk to wasn’t always easy and that some feel they can’t access bereavement services as the person is still alive.”