The suicidal elder senior: Snippets from the frontline

It is devastating and sad:

-intentional drug overdose;
-using firearms;
-stopping prescribed medication;
-jumping off a bridge, or in front of a train or traffic.

We don’t always know why, and those they leave behind are filled with guilt. All age groups are effected, but statistically the highest successful suicide rates are for those 50 or older.

There are many causes:

-loss of spouse;
-quality of life suffering;
-financial worries;
-family dysfunction;
-loss of confidence in life;
-lack of purpose;
-worsening medical condition;
-sense of helplessness or hopelessness

Those who die by suicide are desperate and feel they have run out of options.

Those contemplating suicide rarely attempt without showing signs of their intentions.

Family members, friends, caregivers, and medical professionals should be aware and become better educated to the potential for self-harm.

We must be more alert to the cries of fellow human beings.

Be a friend. Listen.

Gene Uzawa Dorio, M.D.

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