The Real Problem of Senior Suicide

While seniors make up 12% of the population of the United States, they account for a whopping 18% of suicide deaths—and many experts think that number is under-reported. Later-life suicide is a serious issue, and National Suicide Prevention Month is a good opportunity to educate yourself about the importance of mental health for seniors and how you can spot a loved one in need.

The Senior Suicide Crisis

When many people think about suicide, they think about young teenagers struggling with mental illness or high-profile celebrities who publicly battled with their mental health. However, the highest suicide rate of any group in the United States is currently men aged 85 and older. Seniors who attempt suicide are more likely to succeed compared with other demographics for a variety of reasons, including more careful planning and more fatal methods.

Why Is Mental Health Particularly Important for Seniors?

As we age, we go through many challenging situations that can wreak havoc on our mental health and well-being. Losing close friends, social isolation, and personal health problems can all make it feel overwhelming and exhausting to just get from day to day. Cognitive impairment can also play a role, as one 2021 study found that seniors with dementia or mild cognitive impairment were at an increased risk of suicide. By maintaining optimal mental health, seniors will be better equipped to tackle tough things like chronic illness, financial stress, or decreasing self-sufficiency.

What Are Some of the Signs Your Loved One Might Need Help?

Recognizing the warning signs of suicide or suicidal ideation is critical to getting your loved ones the help that they need. Some of the signs in seniors include:

  • A recent significant loss (spouse, close friend, family member, etc.)
  • Stockpiling medication or purchasing a gun
  • Loss of interest in hobbies or activities that they enjoyed in the past
  • Stopping healthcare, including not taking medication or going off their prescribed diet
  • Putting affairs in order or making changes to their will
  • Not taking care of themselves with grooming or self-care
  • Offhanded remarks like “This is the last time you’ll see me” or “This will be my last appointment,” even if they are said in a joking manner

It is always better to be overly concerned for nothing than to not intervene when your loved one could have benefitted from professional help.

Get the Care Your Loved One Deserves with Senior Care Lifestyles

Senior Care Lifestyles specializes in connecting seniors with the right in-home care, assisted living, or senior living community to meet their needs. We have helped hundreds of clients and treat each senior as a valued member of our own family deserving our personalized attention, compassion and respect.

For help, or questions please call us at 410-977-3718 or send a message through our website

Deborah Bakalich, Certified Senior Advisor®
Deborah Bakalich, Certified Senior Advisor®
Owner, Certified Senior Advisor (CSA®) & Assisted Living Placement Specialist - Senior Care Lifestyles, LLC provides compassion, guidance and recommendations to families faced with transitioning a loved one into Assisted Living, Dementia/Alzheimer’s Care, Skilled Nursing, Temporary Respite Care or a Continuous Care Retirement Community. Senior Care Lifestyles was founded in 2014 by Deborah Bakalich, a Certified Senior Advisor and graduate from both Towson University and Stevenson. Senior Care Lifestyles is uniquely positioned as a local (not National) Maryland based placement firm familiar with Maryland senior care facilities and in-state financial assistance programs for senior residents. They meet personally with each family to understand the seniors care needs including medical, personal lifestyle preferences, budget, religion and desired geographic location. They pride themselves in locally guiding and educating families through the entire maze of senior living options available and will schedule tours on behalf of the family and accompany the family on visits of communities. They are passionate and committed to finding the perfect match to call home and stays with the family throughout the entire process, every step of the way, until a decision is made, and the senior is safely moved into their new home. Senior Care Lifestyles can also provide the family with trustworthy, vetted, and reputable experts to assist with the transition for organizing, packing, moving, sale of real estate, estate planning, legal services, and determining eligibility for State, Federal and Veterans Benefits to assist with care costs. Deborah is a proud member of the Maryland Senior Resource Network (MSRN) where she has served as Vice President on the Board of Directors. She is a member of the Alzheimer’s Organization, Society of Certified Senior Advisors, Mid-Atlantic Network Group and a member of the Business Opportunity Network (BON).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *