Suicide Prevention among Senior Citizens

We know that death is a ‘part of life, it is the ‘inevitable’, it provides ‘meaning’ to our lives and many other doses of wisdom that are now centuries old. As we remain blissfully engaged in our daily battles not often do we recognize the implications of death on people who are still alive.

Unfortunately, as we grow old we lose this privilege of staying distracted. Then we arrive at a certain age when losses in daily battles and of loved ones start mounting. We face our mortality. More than life death becomes the problem. It is in this situation, for people whose hearts are weary of life; death becomes the lure that in younger years was the temptation of love. Statistically, senior citizens are more prone to attempting suicide successfully. The reasons are varied and the statistics are disturbing. Here, we will discuss some of the reasons for this disproportionate rise in suicide cases among senior citizens and what can be done to prevent such cases.

Reasons for high suicide rate among senior citizens:

The primary among a myriad of reasons for the high suicide rate among senior citizens is loneliness. As a person grows older, they lose loved ones and acquaintances, to death or separation due to movement. It is a common practice for children to move out and they are busy in their time on this planet. Soon all the reference points, in people, in building or pop culture which makes someone’s world a familiar place are lost. With this loss arrives an acute sense of loneliness and desolation. This leads to the realization of their mortality and the prohibitions put forth by age. Arthritis, high blood pressure, diabetes and other gerontological issues inhibit a lot of activities we take for granted in our youth.

Issues of Mental Wellbeing:

The toll takes on their mental health when they can no longer perform the tasks that they once so easily achieved is one of the most important factors behind suicide among senior citizens. Some people lose their ability to read or jog or other hobbies that give them identity. The loss of such an important aspect of oneself causes psychological damage that is difficult to recover from without proper care. Loss of senses also impacts mental health negatively and can also induce a feeling of being a burden.

Elderly people, living in a world that has passed them by, coping with physical and emotional issues are often left with a feeling of being redundant in society. It becomes more difficult for them to meet new people or engage actively with the new world. The loss of loved ones increases rapidly with age. People we once looked up to, people we considered comrades and colleagues, family and acquaintances, idols and heroes, everyone dies and the weight of that loss become too great at times to bear. This is one of the leading causes of depression among senior citizens. Hopelessness and helplessness push people into such despair that increasingly they are opting to end their own lives.

How to prevent this avoidable tragedy:

There are not many in-depth pieces of research regarding elderly suicide. One of the primary problems is that a lack of oversight or caregiver’s presence to monitor certain behavioural patterns. Researchers have identified certain behaviour development as red flags when it comes to elderly caregiving.

It is by observing and identifying these flags that one might prevent this tragedy. One of the most worrying signs is extreme disinterest in social activities that are generally found enjoyable. This is often the reason and the symptom for clinical depression. A sudden break from one’s medicine routine or dietary regimen can often be a sign of something ominous. Oftentimes a person contemplating suicide rushes to put affairs in order, paperwork and wills and other issues. A sudden urgency among older people in these regards can often be a sign of serious suicidal thoughts. Attempts to stockpile medicine that might be harmful in a large quantity are the definite sign of an intention. It is by keeping an eye for these signs that one might prevent these incidents.

However, the most important aspect of suicide prevention is empathy. It is understandably easy for an elderly person to feel like a burden or an obsolete artefact of society, oftentimes the loss of a spouse or a bother or a friend can spiral someone to the dark ends of desolation. That is why it is important for the still young, to lend a caring arm and an empathetic shoulder. That should not just be out of an understanding of our mortality, the fact that one day we will be in their position, but out of empathy and a desire to soothe those in pain.

We, at TriBeCa Care, care about you and your family. Our Elder Care is categorically structured to provide the elderly with the support that they deserve. If you have any further query then feel free to reach us. Call us at + 913366064208 or request a callback. Email us at