Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Suicide In The Elderly: A Disturbing Trend That Is Under Reported


Suicide In the Elderly:
A Disturbing Trend That Is Under Reported!
 
 (Calgary, AB) An article published by the American Association For Marriage And Family Therapy (AAMFT) titled Suicide In The Elderly looks at the increasing trend of suicides among the elderly.
 
In the United States, older adults make up 12% of the population, but account for 18% of all suicide deaths. This is an alarming statistic, as the elderly are the fastest growing segment of the population, make the issue of later life suicide a major public health priority.
 
In 2002 for example, the annual suicide rate for persons over the age of 65 was 15 per 100,000, this number increases for those aged 75 to 84, with 17 suicides deaths per every 100,000. The number rises even higher for those over age 85.
 
 
                                                            Suicide Rates For The Elderly
 
           
 
                                                 18                                         #

                                                 17                           #
          Suicides per 100,000
                                                 16
 
                                                 15          #
-
                                                   _______________________________
                                                  Age     65          75-84         85+
 
As the article suggest, "an obstacle faced by mental health professionals and other caregivers in reaching this group is that older adults do not usually seek treatment for mental health problems. As such, family and friends can play an important role in prevention."
 
Depression as opposed to social isolation tends to be more of a contributing factor.
 
According to the article the following are some warning signs that suicidal thoughts may be on the horizon.
 
- Loss of interest in things or activities that are usually found enjoyable
- Cutting back social interaction, self care and grooming
- Breaking medical regimens (such as going off diets, prescriptions)
- Experiencing or expecting a significant personal loss (spouse or other)
- Feeling hopeless and/or worthless
- Putting affairs in order, giving things away or making changes in wills
- Stock piling medications or obtaining other lethal means
- The most significant indicator is an expression of suicidal intent
 
 
At Life Choice We Understand!
 
A comment by Life Choice CEO, owner and founder Dr. Eldon Dahl, ND


Dr. Eldon Dahl, ND
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Sources

American Association For Marriage And Family Therapy  Suicide In The Elderly

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