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Mental health of the elderly linked to physical illnesses – study



Advocates of the elderly want better interventions in mental health, after new research found that people over 65 years old are more likely to present a physical illness as a stressor before self-harm.

Old woman's hand, attention to the concept of the elderly

Those over the age of 65 are more likely to report physical illness as a stressor before self-harm.
Photo: 123rf.com

Meanwhile, those between the ages of 45 and 64 were likely to report the separation of relationships and financial problems as stressors.

The study, which analyzed three years of data on self-inflammatory cases at the Middlemore hospital, found that suicidal intent was also more common among the older demographics.

They also had lower survival rates in the 12 months after attempting self-determination.

Research abroad cited in the study found that older people had less attempts, before dying for suicide.

"International studies have estimated at least four suicide attempts for each late suicide, unlike 25 attempts per suicide in the younger populations," said the study.

One of the authors, the psychiatrist Gary Cheung, said that older people tend to be more determined when they tried to commit suicide.

"We have to deal with this group very carefully, self-harming an elderly person in an attempt at suicide until the contrary is verified, due to the high risk of self-determination in the very near future," he said.

Dr. Cheung said he would like to see a better selection when they present another treatment.

"Because physical illness is closely associated with self-harm and suicide, whether it is chronic pain or heart or respiratory diseases, so that an elderly person with a chronic disease should be routinely screened for depression," he said.

He said his previous investigation found a significant proportion of older people submitted to his GP within a month of killing.

"They go to their doctors, but often because of their physical problems, then how do we use it as an opportunity for intervention?"

The educator of age concern about abuse and neglect of the elderly Hanny Naus said that the investigation aimed at the need for better services to support the psychological and emotional needs of the elderly.

"If people are less capable of dating themselves, the chances of attending appointments or being part of groups, the barriers are greater, unless they are taken to these services or offered in homes," he said.

However, she said from the Age Concern experience: DHBs are less and less able to offer people those services in their own home.

Where to get help:

Do you need to talk? Free call or text 1737 at any time to speak with a trained counselor, for any reason.

Lifeline: 0800 543 354 or text HELP to 4357

Line of help for the suicide crisis: 0508 828 865/0508 TAUTOKO (24/7). This is a service for people who may be thinking about suicide or those who are worried about their family or friends.

Depression help line: 0800 111 757 (24/7) or text 4202

Samaritanos: 0800 726 666 (24/7)

Youthline: 0800 376 633 (24/7) or free text 234 (8 am-12am), or via email talk@youthline.co.nz

What's Up: online chat (from 3 am to 10 pm) or 0800 WHATSUP / 0800 9428 787 the help line (from 12 am to 10 pm Monday through Thursday, from 3 am to 11 pm for the purposes of week)

Kidsline (5 to 18 years old): 0800 543 754 (24/7)

Support support Helpline support: 0800 787 254

Healthline: 0800 611 116

Rainbow Youth: (09) 376 4155

If it's an emergency and you feel that you or someone is at risk, call 111.


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