Death and bereavement are not subjects that are well recognised or prioritised within UK society. Where policy does exist, it is disparate and unconnected. Support for bereaved older people is therefore highly localised and depends on the availability and attention of third sector organisations.

Older people’s experiences following the loss of a partner vary hugely. Independent Age set out to learn more about those experiences and understand what can be done to ensure more have positive outcomes.

This report brings together what we already know about older people’s experiences of bereavement along with new research centred on older people whose partners have died. We focus on some of the issues faced by those living with the grief of losing a loved one.

Our research also reveals how talking about death, at an individual and a policy level, can start to provide the help that older people need when faced with the most difficult moment of their lives.