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Women more open about loss of loved ones

Press Association logoPress Association 28/02/2017

There is a "stark" difference between the way older men and women cope with the loss of a loved one, a UK charity says.

Although women are more likely than men to open up about bereavement, they still report greater feelings of loneliness, Independent Age said.

Almost one-third (32 per cent) of men did not turn to anyone for emotional or practical support following the death of a family member compared with just 18 per cent of women, according to a poll of more than 2000 bereaved people over the age of 65 from around the UK.

More than half of women said speaking to friends helped them deal with grief, compared with one-third of men, the charity found.

Meanwhile, 30 per cent of women said feelings of loneliness were what they found most difficult following bereavement compared with 17 per cent of men.

Overall, those aged over 65 felt lonely for an average of eight months after being bereaved, although one in five said they still had feelings of loneliness three or more years later.

Janet Morrison, chief executive of Independent Age, which has launched a new guide on coping with bereavement, said: "The poll shows the stark difference in the way that men and women deal with grief.

"Although women talk more to friends and family about how they're feeling, they still report greater feelings of loneliness.

"We know that it's really important to open up about the death of a loved one and not keep things bottled up or try to remain stoic.

"Everyone deals with grief in their own way and for some people feelings of grief will never completely go away: there's no one way or set amount of time to grieve, but we would urge older people to reach out for help and support if they need it."

Australian readers seeking support and information about depression can contact the Depression Helpline (from 8am to midnight) on 0800 111 757.

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