Older People

Suicide was a criminal offence in England and Wales until 1961 and so if you grew up before this, you may feel a greater sense of shame if someone in your family takes their own life. You may be more reluctant to talk to other people about the suicide or to seek help, because you think it reflects badly on
your family. Your physical health may be more vulnerable and you may be more at risk of developing depression. You may have less access to social support if your family live far away and friends have died, or you may be lonely, especially if the person who died was your spouse. You should not feel that you are wasting your doctor’s time by visiting them if you feel upset or have more aches and pains than usual. This is perfectly reasonable. If you feel lacking in energy, lose interest in your usual activities or go off your food, treat these symptoms seriously and ask for help.

Age UK provides information on practical help for older bereaved people. Some local branch offices offer bereavement support; others can help callers contact local bereavement services.