Addressing ambiguous loss and grief as a healthcare provider

Practical resources to help healthcare professionals understand loss and grief associated with dementia.

Hands clasped together in comfort.


People with dementia, their family members, caregivers, and staff who support them all experience some form of grief throughout the progression of the disease. Ambiguous loss is the set of feelings commonly experienced while grieving over the person with dementia long before she dies. A person experiencing ambiguous loss may feel that the person with dementia is leaving her a little bit each day. Learning about loss and grief due to Alzheimer’s disease or other dementias can help in better understanding the feelings that occur and may ease the process.

The Alzheimer Society has developed evidence-based practical resources written from a person-centred perspective to help healthcare professionals understand and support those experiencing ambiguous loss and grief associated with dementia.

For healthcare providers

Supporting clients through ambiguous loss and grief: Strategies for healthcare providers is a practical resource to help health-care providers identify, acknowledge and normalize the feelings of loss and grief experienced by family caregivers of a person with dementia— from diagnosis to end-of-life and after caregiving.

Staff grief

Dementia and staff grief: A resource for healthcare providers is a resource for organizations and their personnel on better understanding the multiple losses experienced by staff caring for people with dementia.

Webinar on dementia and staff grief presented by brainXchange.

Other resources