The signs of mental disorders are under-estimated in older adults, according to the AQPS

Les signes de troubles mentaux sont sous-estimés chez les aînés, selon l’AQPS

MONTREAL – The indices of mental health disorders in the elderly tend to be under-estimated, highlights the Association québécoise de prévention du suicide (AQPS), in the wake of the attempted suicide of two elderly people in the Saguenay.

Two seniors who would be in a relationship for more than 60 years old have attempted suicide late last week in a seniors ‘ residence in the district of Chicoutimi, in the Saguenay.

The man and the woman, aged respectively 85 and 81 years old, would have decided to swallow a large quantity of drugs. They would have fainted.

The man would have regained consciousness later and it seems that he called himself the relief, while admitting that it was a suicide pact. His wife and him were transported to the hospital where they were better on Tuesday morning, it seems.

The Service de police de Saguenay has opened an investigation into this sad affair, especially to see if criminal acts were committed. The investigators expect that the two seniors recover for the question.

Recognize the signs

In an interview, the director general of the Association québécoise de prévention du suicide, Jérôme Gaudreault, argued that there was often “under-diagnosis or under-interpretation of mental health problems” among seniors.

“We tend to think that it is more normal to be depressed, for example, when you are an older person, so that not, in fact, the elderly also have the right to their physical well-being and mental health, and depression will be addressed as well if there is a senior person that if there is a younger person. This is very important, it is to be alert to signs of distress specific to seniors, and to provide the help and support they need,” he said.

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Mr. Gaudreault has mentioned as risk factors for the isolation, family conflict, loss of driving license and loss of a spouse.

“It is necessary to recognize the signs, whether direct on indirect, for example when the person is going to talk about it, will use phrases such as “soon, you will no longer have to worry about me”, or “I will no longer be a burden”. Behaviors also, if the person tends to isolate, abuse alcohol or drugs, ( … ), and emotions, if the individual lives of sadness, discouragement, aggressiveness”, he stressed.

In these cases, Mr. Gaudreault suggests to address to the appropriate resources, particularly at the Centre for suicide prevention (1-866-CALLED), “which provides a service for suicidal people, but also with loved ones, that accompany a person who is going less well”.

Mr. Gaudreault indicates that in Quebec, with about 12 deaths by suicide among the elderly per 100,000 inhabitants, the suicide rates are “particularly low” if compared to other provinces.

Regarding the recent drama in the Saguenay, the spokesperson for the Service de police de Saguenay, Bruno Cormier, said that an investigation had been opened.

“Following some of the remarks that the man involved in the event was required, it has opened an investigation to know the circumstances,” said Mr. Cormier.

“We’re going to give them time to recover, and we will sit down with these people to try to see exactly what happened”, he added.

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