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             The number of elderly people in today's world has significantly increased in the past number of years. One of the reasons for this pleasant change is the America's improved health care and increased concern for the physical and emotional well being of geriatric patients. Despite the overall enhanced health of this population, the fact remains that mortality rate of males continues to be higher than their partners. The concern has risen among health professionals about the possible negative affects and potential danger brought on by the death of a life long partner. Therefore widowed women should be carefully assessed for risks of physical and mental instability and fully supported to restore them to the therapeutic level of every day functioning. In the article, "The Elderly Woman at Risk", Cheryl Fischer and Marge Hegge describe the four stages of grief and possible risks associated with each stage that a newly widowed woman goes thorough. The four natural stages are numb shock, emotional turmoil, disorientation, and acceptance. The first stage serves as protection from the full force of pain. Some of the symptoms are restlessness, insomnia, confusion, anorexia, anemia, and social withdrawal. A woman is at high risk for accidents during this stage, which can last from two weeks (during which the shock is most intense) to a month or longer. Accidents and injuries occur during this time due to the bereaved being easily distracted and disoriented. Normal bodily functions and life patterns are disrupted leaving the woman vulnerable to infections and accidents. The emotional turmoil stage may last from two weeks to six months or longer and risks result from the emotional distress. A lot of times medication compliance is a problem creating many health alterations. Disorientation occurs between four and seven months after the partner's death, when it is fully realized, and results in much loneliness and despair.

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