Senior citizens susceptible to suicide

As we age, it's easy to become more isolated, which can lead to depression.

By

Lifestyle

September 14, 2021 - 11:27 AM

A police officer chats with a homebound senior citizen while doing a senior-citizen check Friday. During the COVID-19 pandemic, more seniors are self-isolating, which can lead to depression. Photo by Joshua A. Bickel/Dispatch

September is National Suicide Prevention month. Suicide isn’t something we actively discuss even though it is a serious public health issue that leaves a lasting impact on families and communities. Between 1999 and 2019, the suicide death rate increased 33%.

Barbara Stockebrand

Senior citizens are particularly vulnerable to suicide. Suicide is a direct reflection of mental illness — another topic often swept under the rug, especially for older adults. 

Older adults may simultaneously experience multiple factors contributing to depression, such as: chronic medical illness or pain, loss of physical functioning, prior depressive episodes, reliving bad experiences, recent loss, and dementia to name a few.  

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