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What Are the Major Warning Signs of Senior Suicide?

In 2012, the Canadian Mental Health Association released a report stating people aged 65 and older had much higher suicide rates than younger generations. High suicide rates among Canadian seniors may stem from a variety of reasons, including poor physical health and severe depression. If you notice your elderly loved one exhibiting any of following warning signs, Toronto, ON, live-in home care experts recommend taking the signs seriously and seeking help.

Avoiding Grooming and Self-Care

It’s perfectly natural for seniors to lose some interest in their appearance, but family caregivers in Toronto should be wary of any distinct changes in their loved ones’ grooming habits, such as refusing to take showers or staying in the same clothes for weeks at a time. Though changes such as these could be signs of severe depression, your loved one might simply be having a tough time with these tasks and just needs a helping hand. 

Making Verbal Threats

Verbal threats of suicide or self-harm should never be taken lightly. These claims might seem disingenuous at first, but they are almost always a cry for help. If you hear your loved one making comments like these, address them immediately. Make sure your loved one knows he or she is cared for and still a major part of the lives of everyone surrounding him or her. If your loved one carries on with these comments, you will most likely need to find professional help.

Giving Away Prized Possessions

Donating personal belongings is another natural part of growing older, but suddenly giving away prized possessions could be a warning sign of depression. Instead of arguing with your loved one about keeping belongings, directly ask why he or she feels the need to give those items away. A simple question or conversation might be all that is needed to make your loved one rethink his or her actions.

Hoarding Medication

Depressed seniors often see their prescription medication as an easy way to hurt or kill themselves. If your loved one is missing any medication, it must be found immediately, and you should contact his or her primary doctor as soon as possible. The missing medication might be nothing more than a mistake, but seniors who have a relatively high risk of harming themselves should not have access to larger doses of dangerous medications.

Oftentimes, just having a trusted companion to rely on is enough to stave off a senior’s suicidal feelings. The compassionate caregivers at Home Care Assistance are available around the clock to provide emotional support and social stimulation, offer timely medication reminders, and assist with grooming, bathing, and other important daily tasks. For more information on elder care Toronto seniors and their families can count on, call one of our friendly Care Managers at (416) 488-8777 to request a free in-home consultation.