Silverline founder Esther Rantzen calls for more research into numbers of elderly people taking their own lives (From Bournemouth Echo)
When news happens text pix and video to 80360. Start your message with BE then leave a space.
Silverline founder Esther Rantzen calls for more research into numbers of elderly people taking their own lives
WAKE-UP CALL: Esther Rantzen, who says research is needed following tragic deaths of OAPs in Bournemouth
JOURNALIST and campaigner Esther Rantzen is calling for more research into the numbers of elderly people taking their own lives, amid fears many suicides are not recorded.
Miss Rantzen, who lives in the New Forest and recently launched the Silver Line telephone hotline service for lonely older people, spoke out after a spate of tragic deaths in Bournemouth.
She believes the widespread coverage of the care home abuse scandal has left many older people unnecessarily terrified of the prospect of moving into a residential home.
And she said the sheer number of calls made to Silver Line service – more than 500 a day – proved that many people were leading lonely and isolated lives.
“Loneliness is very corrosive, it eats away at your confidence,” she said. “You feel nobody wants to know, nobody wants to talk to you.
“We also get a lot of calls to Silver Line from people losing their sight as they get older. That must be very difficult.
“You suddenly think I can’t drive anymore, I can’t go out and meet people anymore.
“And there have been so many scare stories relating to bad care homes lately.
“But I opened a new care home not so long ago where they had taken a lot of trouble to get it right. They can be wonderful places.
“I want to try and see whether it’s the tip of an iceberg, whether there are other elderly suicides of people who are isolated and alone. Are we losing lives unnecessary? Are there people who feel unwanted, unloved and alone?
“I think it’s underreported, I think kind coroners may record it as a mistake.
“These incidents should be a wake-up call for the rest of us. Too many older people may be taking their own lives because they feel there’s no hope.”
Silver Line is free and confidential and open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. It is on 0800 4 708090.
Comments are closed on this article.