Silverline founder Esther Rantzen calls for more research into numbers of elderly people taking their own lives

Bournemouth Echo: WAKE-UP CALL: Esther Rantzen, who says research is needed following tragic deaths of OAPs in Bournemouth 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 (7)

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10:13am Sun 29 Dec 13

arthur1948 says...

Welcome to uncaring Britain....
Welcome to uncaring Britain.... arthur1948

12:51pm Sun 29 Dec 13

Wageslave says...

You can feel isolated and that nobody wants to talk to you at any age , I work in a big office environment and the people are miserable, all me,me ,me.and gimme, gimme, gimme.. Horrible people
You can feel isolated and that nobody wants to talk to you at any age , I work in a big office environment and the people are miserable, all me,me ,me.and gimme, gimme, gimme.. Horrible people Wageslave

12:57pm Sun 29 Dec 13

muscliffman says...

Quite topical locally, surely many of us can see the basic reason this could well be happening. The older generations now face shocking third rate care options, home choices between heating and eating, a future of deteriorating health in an overwhelmed NHS and ultimately a 'care pathway' death arranged to meet an NHS Manager's targets. Their prospects are truly bleak and they deserve far, far better.

How sad that the wealth these people worked so hard to create and then wisely invested for their own welfare in more frail old age is now being 'politically' redistributed by younger generations, not least to those who have never contributed to it but are now free to enter the overcrowded UK through open borders, or to suit other political ideologies (and big business) is being sent overseas to 'aid' Countries which patently don't need it.

It must be time to redirect the UK's financial priorities towards those people who generated the money in the first place. Our parents and grandparents built the economic UK we live in for a good reason - and it certainly was not to give it away to others whilst they are forced to contemplate ending their own lives before the State system does it for them.
Quite topical locally, surely many of us can see the basic reason this could well be happening. The older generations now face shocking third rate care options, home choices between heating and eating, a future of deteriorating health in an overwhelmed NHS and ultimately a 'care pathway' death arranged to meet an NHS Manager's targets. Their prospects are truly bleak and they deserve far, far better. How sad that the wealth these people worked so hard to create and then wisely invested for their own welfare in more frail old age is now being 'politically' redistributed by younger generations, not least to those who have never contributed to it but are now free to enter the overcrowded UK through open borders, or to suit other political ideologies (and big business) is being sent overseas to 'aid' Countries which patently don't need it. It must be time to redirect the UK's financial priorities towards those people who generated the money in the first place. Our parents and grandparents built the economic UK we live in for a good reason - and it certainly was not to give it away to others whilst they are forced to contemplate ending their own lives before the State system does it for them. muscliffman

1:34pm Sun 29 Dec 13

keith milton says...

its called agenda 21,depopulation policy,

make life for the elderly so bad that they kill themselves,

its worse than nazi germany now in britain.
its called agenda 21,depopulation policy, make life for the elderly so bad that they kill themselves, its worse than nazi germany now in britain. keith milton

7:40pm Sun 29 Dec 13

hooplaa says...

Wageslave wrote:
You can feel isolated and that nobody wants to talk to you at any age , I work in a big office environment and the people are miserable, all me,me ,me.and gimme, gimme, gimme.. Horrible people
Get a new job!
[quote][p][bold]Wageslave[/bold] wrote: You can feel isolated and that nobody wants to talk to you at any age , I work in a big office environment and the people are miserable, all me,me ,me.and gimme, gimme, gimme.. Horrible people[/p][/quote]Get a new job! hooplaa

8:10pm Sun 29 Dec 13

Punkey says...

I don't have any close friends since I came to Bournemouth. People are not very friendly, I get on alright with people but I can't say they are real friends. I consider myself as a bit of a loner so who is going to bother with me if & when I get old.
I'm not after any sympathy either.
I don't have any close friends since I came to Bournemouth. People are not very friendly, I get on alright with people but I can't say they are real friends. I consider myself as a bit of a loner so who is going to bother with me if & when I get old. I'm not after any sympathy either. Punkey

9:57pm Sun 29 Dec 13

pete woodley says...

Even some of the S.A care not for the elderly and disabled.
Even some of the S.A care not for the elderly and disabled. pete woodley

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