People may think that the elderly live relaxed lives now that they have retired. The Centers for Disease Control says that out of 85,000 people that took their lives in 2017, over 47,000 were ages 65 and older. By learning why the elderly are at risk for suicide, there is a higher chance for more to be done for them to ensure they live happy lives.
How Does Growing Old Lead to Suicidal Thoughts?
One of the reasons why the elderly population is more prone to suicidal thoughts is loneliness. Their friends and spouse have passed away or their children have moved away from home. They may feel guilty or depressed for still being alive while their peers around them have died. As we get older, we start developing new chronic health conditions. It may be too much to handle if you are living alone. They may feel like no one is listening to them and that suicide is the only option.
Older adults may feel like because their bones are weaker compared to when they were young and that opportunities for them are slimmer than before, they have no way of contributing to society. The elderly may face negative depictions or face discrimination in the local community. Even if the elderly seem to feel strong and independent, society still sees them as weak and feeble.
How Can We Prevent Suicide Among the Elderly?
The best thing that you can do is treat the elderly with respect. Do not be quick to assume that the elderly cannot get around on their own and that they always need help. Let the elderly tell you when they need help instead of being quick to assume. If you know someone older than 65 who is suffering from depression or anxiety, refer them to a mental health specialist or a support group in the community.
What Are the Signs of Suicide Among the Elderly?
Be aware if you see anyone among the elderly who is showing signs of depression or anxiety. The same can be said if you see someone revising their will or complaining of being a burden. Stockpiling on medication or saying goodbye like they will never see you again is another bad sign. By keeping these warning signs in mind among the elderly, you have the chance to save a life and prevent that person from taking their own life.
Located in Georgetown, Texas, Alta Loma is a transformative living center to help those struggling in early recovery to transition out of our Psychiatric and Substance Abuse inpatient center. Alta Loma believes that addiction is born from an untreated mental illness in which our facility is here to help you. Our facility offers residency, medication management education, individualized treatment, life skills education, 12-step support, and more tools to bring patients the confidence to be able to live an independent life. For more information, please call us at 866-457-3843.