12-27-2008, 04:29 PM
There is much that can happen to a prolonged grief stricken person. This is especially true for some who is an elder.Grief induces a stress reaction in the body. Prolonged stress is not good for anyone. In addition, such a person (elderly or not) becomes depressed due to the prolonged grief.Grief can be dysfunctional if too prolonged. This is an impaired grief response.Grief is something that someone does not"just get over."There are definite stages to grief but anyone can get"stuck"in a given stage, not moving beyond. Stress due to dysfunctional grieving impacts the whole body.In turn, anything affecting the body impacts the mind and vice versa. Certainly stress (whatever the source), can impact the heart impairing cardiac function.If the stress is great, then blood pressure can become elevated. Elderly people often already have physical problems. Stress can exacerbate these, causing further physical problems.By the way, it is possible for someone to die from a broken heart. Grief counseling is common and available for those who need it. In addition, an antidepressant can often be helpful in someone overcoming feelings of depression related to grief.While this is a simplistic answer I hope it helps.