We were saddened to learn of the passing of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. During her years of tireless service and dutiful dedication she was an inspirational figure to so many people for decades.
The death of a public figure can raise questions and bring up people’s grief, especially from those who have a connection to the person who has died or remember someone close. Some of the people you support may well be deeply affected by the death of the Queen.
Coverage will be everywhere for many days to come so our QCS Policy Manager, Alison Lowerson, offers some advice on how you can assist them during this period of mourning.
For some it feels strange or even a shock to feel very sad or upset about someone we didn’t know personally. But the Queen touched the lives of millions of people directly and indirectly in many ways, either through her family, connections from war time, or events and televised broadcasts during the year.
How many of your residents, neighbours, friends or relatives have fond memories of the Queen or were young children during the last war in Europe and have vivid recollections?
Talk to the people you care for and support
You can ask your residents or relatives living at home or being supported by your care or support teams how they might be feeling about the loss of the Queen and how things will change now we have a new King. Ask how this might be affecting them emotionally and mentally.
Those of you who have elderly neighbours may want to go and check. Hold out a hand of friendship as they may be experiencing memories of the past, bringing into focus grief and loss they may have endured as a result. If they are already lonely, the sad news this week could increase their feelings of loss, emptiness, or even anxiety and worry.
Whilst we are currently a nation in mourning there will of course be celebrations to come in the months ahead when Kings Charles III is crowned at his coronation and there will be a new era of the monarchy.
Consider what you can do to support people in your care?
Have you and your team discussed what you can do to support people through this current situation? Here are some suggestions:
- If you are in a service that has a TV running just for background noise, then think about the channels you may have on and what is being aired
- Do your key workers have training to support some difficult conversations that may result from reading the papers?
- What about pastoral advice and support that may be available in your community?
- Do you know who to escalate any concerns to if needed?
- Do you know where people can sign a book of condolence if they wish, either in person or online?
- How can you keep people informed on the funeral and forthcoming commemorative events?
- Are there simple activities which could be arranged for people who want to remember or celebrate the life of the Queen?
Just knowing who in your circle may need a little bit of extra support, a friendly face or a hand to hold, a reassuring smile and words can make a huge difference to the people you care or love the most.
Grief for Her Majesty The Queen offers useful advice from Cruise Bereavement Support, of which the Queen was a Royal Patron and long standing supporter.
- The government has released National Mourning Guidance for the public and businesses https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/the-demise-of-her-majesty-queen-elizabeth-ii-national-mourning-guidance
There are a number of other charities that may be able to offer support: