Suicides have been increasing among senior citizens. Out of all 47000 suicides that happened in 2017, seniors accounted for 8500, as per CDC data. Men over 65 face highest risks while adults over 85 come in 2ndfor risks from suicide. As per US Census data, over 47.8M people over 65 live in the USA. This figure will reach 98.2M by 2060.
Experts like Reed are concerned about this. He manages injury prevention, suicide, and violence at nonprofit EDC. He states that these statistics are only going to get worse. What is more frightening is that seniors are likely to succeed in their suicide attempt compared to youngsters.
One in every 4 suicide attempts among seniors is successful, whereas only 1 in 200 young adult attempts results in death. Since seniors are fragile and isolated, help is unlikely to reach in time.
Loneliness is a leading case for suicide. Many adults live isolated, struggling with a loved one’s death.
Older adults face mental or physical health illnesses due to bereavement. When children are away, grandparents and parents live miles away. They find themselves craving human connection and the love of family visit. High BP, arthritis, and diabetes are also major factors, as per TNCA. When senior citizens are unable to perform daily tasks, they turn depressed. Physical ailments can deprive the abilities to engage in activities that help a person find meaning. Old-age Transitions are difficult periods in a person’s life. When people aren’t adequately prepared for this, they become depressed about every single event that sets them apart from others. Adler, who had attempted suicide once, stated that being away from her child and the resulting isolation was overwhelming. She stated that losing the capability to read due to a stroke grievously affected her mental life.
Old age also comes with increasing stigmatization. There are several warning signs. These include social withdrawal, feeling hopeless, shifting sleep habits, abuse of drugs or alcohol and stockpiling medication.
Rickard believes that via regular doctor’s visits, hydrations, physical health, exercise, psychiatric and medical help and human contact, mental health of seniors can be improved.
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