More than 200,000 people aged over 65 will lose their partner this year. A new report by Independent Age identifies that older people are four times more likely to experience depression following a bereavement, putting them at increased risk of physical deterioration and risk of suicide.

Petia Richardson, a BACP-registered person-centred counsellor with experience of working with bereaved older adults and who contributed to the report, says;

"It is often assumed that older people have the resilience to cope with loss as a 'normal' part of later life, so they may not be offered bereavement counselling following the death of a partner. This report gives a voice to a generation of people who are particularly vulnerable to loneliness, social isolation and complicated grief. My message to any older person struggling with their grief is that counselling is a safe place for you to tell your story and be heard and that it is never too late to rebuild and find new meaning and pleasure in life.”

You can read the full report Good Grief: Older people’s experiences of partner bereavement on the Independent Age web site.