funeral homes in Greenbelt, MD

Long-Term Care Homes: Seniors and Suicide

Some of the funerals at funeral homes in Greenbelt, MD are those of seniors who have died. Some had the blessing of good health and vitality to the end of their lives. They were able to live out their final years in their own homes and they had a life full of doing what they enjoyed, whether it was traveling, volunteering, visiting with family and friends, and doing hobbies they enjoyed.

Others may have experienced health challenges as they grew older that made it difficult for them to live alone. Of those, some may have had family members move them into their homes or had a family member move in with them so that they had help when they needed it, but still had some autonomy.

However, as American society has become more mobile, sometimes there is no family close by who can take care of their senior relatives. Sometimes it’s the seniors who don’t want to pick up and move to where their family members are. Sometimes it’s the family who decides that long-term care is the best option for everyone involved.

Whatever the case, there are many seniors now living in long-term care facilities. In some cases, spouses may both be alive and move in together, but in many cases, a surviving spouse or a never-married relative finds themselves in one of these facilities.

If other family members don’t live close by, then they may not be able to visit more than a few times a year, leaving the seniors alone and lonely, without friends and neighbors for companionship when their families live far away.

The change can be life-altering. Moving into a strange place, not knowing anyone, but depending on everyone for day-to-day care can be very scary. Seniors may feel isolated and unwanted. They may physically, emotionally, and mentally diminish because the change is so drastic and so hard.

While some long-term care facilities provide excellent care and make sure that they offer social opportunities for their residents, others do not. So, in addition to being uprooted from everything they have known and where they are comfortable, seniors may also face, if not abuse, then passive or active neglect.

This can lead to feelings of hopelessness and it can cause severe depression. Some seniors may be so unhappy that they no longer want to live. Of these, some may actually act on their desire to die and commit suicide.

Suicides of seniors in long-term care facilities are not widely reported or discussed in America, but a Kaiser Health News report for PBS NewsHour found that some seniors are choosing to end their lives in assisted living facilities and nursing homes.

Because long-term care facilities take great care to try to keep deaths by suicide quiet, simply because it’s bad for business, Kaiser Health News was able to dig deeply enough into the data from the documentation available to the public to estimate that the rate of suicide in long-term care facilities is about one senior per day (approximately 365 a year).

Not only does this show how much of an upheaval moving into a long-term care facility can create in a senior’s life, but it also highlights the pervasive problem of understaffing and lack of detail to the residents’ mental, physical, and emotional condition that would enable a senior to be able to commit suicide.

Seniors are as important as anyone else at funeral homes in Greenbelt, MD and we will take care of them in death as we would in life. You can talk with our knowledgeable team at Donald V. Borgwardt Funeral Home, P.A. You can visit our funeral home at 4400 Powder Mill Rd., Beltsville, MD, 20705, or you can call us today at (301) 937-1707.