In last week’s blog about finding a sense of purpose, we discussed the concerns of suicides among seniors, citing the fact that the National Institute of Mental Health considers depression in people 65 and older to be a major public health problem. Add to that, the ongoing pandemic which is likely to result in a confluence of risk factors for suicidal behaviors, and we may be looking at a problem larger than we initially expected with this age group.
Before the onset of COVID-19, living alone, loneliness, and social isolation were known to be among the risk factors for suicide among seniors. The government-imposed policies of quarantine and social distancing added to the adverse effects of loneliness even for those residing in assisted living as they were unable to have any face-to-face contact with family members or other loved ones. Add to this preexisting mental illness, health problems