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Hearing the seniors say that they are tired of living or want to die is painful for the family members. These are the statements family members often get to hear from the older members of their family. The concern is that family members are unaware of how they are supposed to react or respond to such comments.
There are countless factors due to which a senior might want to end his life. Some common reasons why senior gives up on life are because they feel lonely, feel like a victim, and are dependent on their family members.
Most of the seniors feel that they have no ability to make improvements due to which, they tend to see death as the only viable option for regaining control over their circumstances.
Feeling disconnected from life can also be the reason that seniors are feeling this way. Besides this, the seniors also lose their ability to participate in projects and activities due to which they feel that they have lost their identity and place in the world.
Most family members have the concern of not being able to respond to the seniors who want to die and have lost all interest in living. Consequently, here are some of the ways outlined below to help you deal with this situation.
The first thing to do is to look for the signs of depression. It is because seniors saying again and again that they want to die is a clear indicator that they are suffering from a mental health disorder. It is crucial to treat depression immediately. Depression symptoms in seniors include sadness, lack of interest, sleeping way too much, experiencing frequent irritation, and loss of appetite.
The physical symptoms can also be the reason why senior gives up on life and want to die. Several changes are brought about by age such as loss of vision, poor sleep, lack of energy, hearing loss, and many other health issues impacting the senior’s quality of life.
Consequently, the best way to respond to seniors’ remarks about dying is to address the physical concerns they are experiencing. Collaborate with the senior’s doctor to see if any changes need to be made in their care plan or not.
Figure out the right approach to your senior’s health such as Hospice or Palliative care and do the needful to alleviate the feelings of depression.
No doubt that communicating your feelings to seniors is great but you should also know when you need to stop. If the seniors suffer from dementia, they’ll tend to repeat themselves. This makes it vital for the caregiver or a family member to stop talking and set some boundaries.
The best way to deal with this is to set aside some specific time to talk about this issue and help the seniors gain confidence.
If the seniors keep on bragging about no longer living their lives or that they would be better off dead, then enable them to think of ways in which they can better cope with the aging process.
Try to know the reasons why they are feeling this way or what change they want in their life.
The situation gets worse when the seniors have dementia or Alzheimer’s as the memory loss makes the matter worse. The family members should address the issue via validation or redirection.
Make them feel heard by listening to their thoughts and then distracting them to something else. The key is to make them focused and positive toward life.
There are chances that the seniors might be dealing with some terminal illness or chronic health conditions due to which they have these thoughts in mind. The best way to deal with this is to engage in conversations to get relief from psychological distress for both of you.
Also, encourage seniors to tell you about their plans and preferences and make these officials if they have not told you yet.
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