Suicide Awareness Month
A person who may be thinking about suicide likely does not want to die; but is in search of some way to make pain or suffering go away. Older people who attempt suicide are often more isolated; therefore, less like to be discovered, more likely to have a plan and use more deadly methods, and they are more determined than younger adults. Suicide rates are particularly high among older men, with men ages 85 and older having the highest rate of any group in the country.
There are several preventative measures that can be taken to help prevent suicides:
- Good health/health practices
- Strong social network and contact
- Family/friends support
- Active interests
- Restricted access to highly lethal methods
- Feeling a purpose in life
It is crucial that friends and family of older adults identify signs of suicidal thoughts and take appropriate follow- up actions to prevent them from acting on these thoughts. Suicidal thoughts are often a symptom of depression and should always be taken seriously.
If you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts, or has described a plan with intent to act, it is essential that you intervene and get help from a mental health professional immediately. A timely and appropriate intervention can prevent suicide and, addressing issues sooner rather than later often results in better treatment outcomes.
A Right at Home caregiver can be an integral part of a senior’s life by providing companionship, good health practices and emotional support. Our caregivers can also help with maintaining an active social life, keeping up with interests and by being there to watch and listen for any warning signs.