Suicide Among The Elderly Essay

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Suicide is a very tragic life event for the victim, victim’s friends and family members and to society as a whole. We often hear about suicide deaths that occur in younger and middle-aged adults in the media but rarely is such attention given to elderly suicide (65 and older). In the United States there is a higher rate of suicide amongst the elderly than in any other part of the population. There are many factors to this problem, however depression among the elderly was recorded as the major contributing factor that lead them to suicide. Every elderly that committed suicide was reported to have been depressed. Understanding the contributing factors that lead to depression amongst the elderly might shed light on the issue. Many studies have shown that depression coupled with risk factors increase tendency of suicide ideation among the elderly. Risk factors such as chronic illness, pain, physical and mental disabilities, isolation, loneliness, role change (retirement), lack of financial security and social support, bereavement, alcohol abuse, hopelessness and dependability have been pointed out as major contributing factors for the high number of depression experienced by the elderly. Society has identified depression and suicides among the elderly are a social problem, but little have been done to educate the public.
The elderly are estimated to be about 12.5% of the population and according to the National Institute of Aging (NIA), the elderly accounted for about 15.7% of all suicides deaths. In 2007, the rate of suicide for the elderly was about 14.3 per 100,000. The numbers add up to one elderly committing suicide every 97 minutes. Among those that are 65 and older, there were about 14.9 per 100,000 reported...

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...ohol abuse play important role in triggering suicide attempts. Risk assessment could be improved by addressing such issues.
Mental health outreach programs may help to prevent elderly suicide. Benefits have been suggested for community-based mental health education, screening, and outreach, as well as for telephone outreach and support initiatives. The clinical profile of depressed elderly suicide victims suggests that, if treated for depression, chances are they are less likely to attempt let alone commit suicide. Elderly suicide is serious social problem that seems to elude the media, health professional, policymakers and society. The increase in the number of adults entering the age category of 65 and over is going to increase in few years because of this and what we know about elderly suicide, the rate of suicide among the elderly is projected to increase.

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