What is LEAVES? It is something that happens to many older adults: the loss of a partner. Losing a partner is a major event in anyone’s life. When you lose a partner, you lose the person with whom you have shared many years, with whom you have built a life, and someone who is an important part of your daily routine and yourself as a person. Most elderly people grieve, but are eventually able to cope with the loss and build a new life for themselves. Others still grieve after a long period of time and are unable to build a new life. This puts this group at risk for depression, loneliness and even suicidal thoughts.
LEAVES is an internet-based service that helps older people cope with the loss of their partner. LEAVES does this by telling you what to expect from a grief process, by helping you to come to terms with the loss, and by helping you to build a new life. In LEAVES you will be guided by Sun, a fictional character that explains what you can do.
What did we do in 2021?
LEAVES started in 2020 and will last for 3 years. In the second year of the project, we looked at how older adults can best get to know the LEAVES service. Should it be advised by the GP? Or be offered as standard after a funeral? In the Netherlands, we choose the latter. In addition, we finished the technology. LEAVES is now ready and can be used. LEAVES checks if you are doing well. In addition,
information is given about how grieving works. By doing exercises you process your loss. We also give suggestions and help with setting up a new life without a partner. And all of this can be done in Dutch, English, German or Portuguese. In 2022, a large group of elderly will try out LEAVES. So that these older
adults can use LEAVES, we made preparations in 2021. How do we help people to use LEAVES for the first time? What questions do we ask them to see if LEAVES works well? And what do we do if someone is too sad to
continue using LEAVES? We answered these questions and more in 2021.
How can I contact the LEAVES team?
We always enjoy meeting interested people.
Whether you are a bereaved person, a healthcare professional, a social worker or someone who is just enthusiastic about the idea: we would love to hear from you! You can find us at www.leaves-project.eu/contact . More information about the project, our results and our newsletter can be found on our website: www.leaves-project.eu.