These are uncertain times and we continue to suffer the loss of many things from our typical holiday events to our daily routines.
Including You is brought to you in partnership with the Tuscarawas County Board of Developmental Disabilities.
With the monumental loss many are facing, TuscBDD wants to open the conversation about COVID-19. Feelings of grief are born when a person experiences a loss of an important element, item, event, or person in their life. Officials at TuscBDD explain that a person with developmental disabilities experiences grief just like you and I do; however, their ability to express their feelings or understanding of them may vary depending on their ability to comprehend what is happening.
There are several ways you can support a person with developmental disabilities through their loss.
- After someone dies, the caregiver should break the news right away and in simple terms.
- Make sure the person understands you and knows you are there for support.
- Use plain language booklets, fliers, or websites to help you to explain death and grief.
- Encourage the person to talk about the matter and ask questions.
- Tell the person that they may experience certain aspects of grief like anger or sadness. Explain that over time, those feelings will change.
- Offer to help the person to create keepsake items such as photo albums or trinkets to help the person to remember their loved one in a positive way.
- Help the person to be involved in the memorial service. They can help to choose the color of flowers or share photos for the photo albums.
- Help the person to stay on track for their typical routines during this time.
- Reach out to the person’s Service and Support Administrator (SSA) or TuscBDD contact for help in linking the person and/or family to mental health services
- The links below are resources for helping people with developmental disabilities in coping with trauma, loss, and grief.
For more information and additional resources be sure to contact the Tuscarawas County Board of Developmental Disabilities.