Suicide among elders is very much a concern. People can become depressed if they are isolated and lonely, which is a condition many of our elderly people face. Medical intervention and/or socialization can make a huge difference. Anyone worried about an elder committing suicide should alert family members or medical people. If it's an emergency call 9-1-1.
Suicide for anyone is a concern. Older people may get depressed too. Depression can be treated. So someone with serious thought of suicide should be treated.
Usually the elders with late-stage dementia get more depressed because they lose the abilities to live lively. So they need to be taken care of properly. A day center or nursing home can provide the activities the elders need.
I'll put a different spin on this question based on my mom's experiences. When she was in her 60s, I remember Mom asking me to agree that if she ended up having symptoms of dementia like her mother did (who had some sort of dementia), that I would take her to the desert and let her just walk off. At the time, I did agree to her request, but I didn't end up upholding our agreement when Mom did end up having Alzheimer's disease. However, her request definitely has stayed with me and made me think. I agree with Carol and Nina, but also am really still torn about the option for assisted suicide for people who have some terrible illnesses such as Alzheimer's disease.
The potential for suicide in someone who is depressed and has dementia is a very serious concern. Dr Agronin reports that older white men, especially those over the age of 80 represent the highest risk of suicide in the US. Their risk is four to five times greater than those for younger people. Firearms are the most common method of suicide.
Depression is the greatest risk in this group of people but other risk factors include bereavement, living alone, lack of social support, substance abuse, psychosis, severe pain, symptoms of panic and chronic illness.
I am concerned about your question name. If you feel depressed and suicidal please seek urgent help through your doctor and contact someone who you can talk to about how you are feeling. They will be able to help you.
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