Grief and Loss: How is Loss and Grief with Dementia Different?

Understanding loss and grief as a hospice palliative caregiver will provide you with tools to keep healthy and the assist others working with their grief. In this podcast, the many ways that grief and loss are different for caregivers of patients with dementia are discussed. Understanding these differences will enhance caregiving with family.


  • 0’00” Start
  • 0’10” Why models of grief are not useful for individuals dying with dementia.
  • 1’30” How the grief and loss is different when someone has dementia – the body and the person disappear at different times.
  • 2’30” Difficult for a person whose loved one has dementia to experience grief.
  • 4’45” Relief may be one emotion when a person with dementia goes into a facility or dies.
  • 5’45” The first funeral is sometimes the label for placing a loved one in a facility.
  • 6’30” Caregivers and family members may disconnect from the relationship which is no longer viable.
  • 8’20” Instead of disconnecting totally, the caregiver may reconnect in more of a parent role.
  • 9’30” What can we do to make the family feel their loved on is safe in our care?

Chapter 5, On Being Up Close and Personal with the Dying, in Essentials in Hospice Palliative Care, 2nd Edition, Katherine Murray, 2009.

Written and recorded by Elizabeth Causton, All Rights Reserved, Life and Death Matters 2010