When individuals suffer from depression or other issues, they may be at risk of suicidal ideation. This may happen to older adults who experience job loss, the death or a spouse, or ongoing social isolation. Feeling hopeless can be debilitating. Suicide prevention for seniors is possible, help is available.
If you or someone you love has been having dark thoughts, do not ignore warning signs. If you are not sure where to turn, connect with the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), an organization committed to improving lives for the millions of Americans affected by mental health issues, to access resources in your area. And if you have personal issues you’d like to talk through so you can pave a path to healing, a personal support counselor can help.
Warning Signs and Risks for Older Adults
There are times when a person is in so much pain, suicidal thoughts begin as a possible solution to their suffering. Dying isn’t necessarily driving the decision, it is the desire to relieve pain and suffering in their daily life. It is possible to secure help, a better life is accessible for many once the proper care and treatment is secured.
Do not ignore suicide warning signs, which can include a combination of the following:
- Depression and feelings of hopelessness
- No interest in the future
- Personality shifts or risky behavior
- Talk of suicide
- Unrelieved pain or ongoing financial trouble
- Giving favorite things and cherished possessions away
- Social isolation, loss of a loved one
- Physical health problems that have reduced a person’s quality of life
- Not having a sense of purpose
According to one report, older adults are 12% of the population in America, yet older adults are 18% of deaths by suicide. This means seniors are at risk and warning signs need to be taken seriously.
Suicide Prevention for Seniors
Friends and family can help when warning signs are recognized. Also, individuals who see the warning signs in themselves can take action. Distress and dark thoughts should be addressed as soon as possible, regardless of age. Younger adults and older adults can benefit from therapy or personal counseling sessions when life has become overwhelming. There are solutions, even when personal issues feel insurmountable.
Too often, people believe that loneliness and depression are a natural part of aging. In reality, there are professionals who know how to improve day-to-day life for seniors, introducing them to coping techniques for anxiety and depression. They are experienced in navigating personal issues and, when needed, establishing systems in suicide prevention for seniors.
As baby boomers enter and live in retirement, elder suicide is a public health issue. There are some community care systems in place, but often individuals need individual support. Reaching out and talking with a professional is a way to learn possible actions to help resolve your issues.
You do not have to suffer alone. If you want to learn more about suicide prevention for seniors or have other mental health concerns, connect with a counselor today.
Kendall Van Blarcom is a senior helping seniors. Contact Van Blarcom Consulting today for help with your personal problems. Or, reach out to provide support for an older adult in your life.