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Experts warn elder suicides and murder-suicides are rising

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Caring for a loved one during a long-term illness can turn love into hate

Orange County, Calif. -- Suicides and murder-suicides in Orange County are on the rise with 57 people who were older than age 65 committing suicide last year, constituting 23 percent of all the county’s suicides.

Charles Reynolds, an expert on aging at the University of Pittsburgh, said after psychological autopsies were conducted, they discovered that clinical depression was involved in 90 percent of the cases. The most likely to commit suicide or murder-suicide are white males in their mid-80w, who also do not seek psychological help.

If the suicide/murder-suicide stats look alarming to experts now, they are predicted to only get worse.

According to the Los Angeles Times, social workers are bracing for an "age tsunami" that began Jan. 1, when the oldest of the baby boomers turned 65.

In discussing the new trend of seniors taking drastic action to end the pain, despair and emotional ride that’s comparable to going over Niagara Falls in a barrel, Dora Comardo, a Laguna Woods Village for 25 years, described her husband as no longer fun-loving.

Alzheimer’s had turned him into an angry confused man, whom she could not longer go dancing with because he would go into jealous rages.

After he began wandering away from home she was forced to place him in a convalescent hospital.

More tragically, even though she knew that Alzheimer’s was the root cause of her husband’s drastic change in personality, she said she couldn’t help herself from blaming him, and said “she mourned his death through hatred.”

That ended only after she discovered a love note he had written 12 years prior to his death and secreted away.

To one extent or another, Comardo’s story is being repeated all over the country and was reflected in all the stories shared by the senior survivors at their meeting, and in the post mortem analysis of the rash of recent suicides and murder-suicides.

Subscribe to comments feed Comments (1 posted):

dentist Murrieta on 02/03/2011 16:36:28
That is such a sad article. I wounder if there is some common source of depression. I noticed the article only mentioned clinical depression as a reason for suicide.
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