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Lethbridge Herald Newspaper Archives

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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - June 16, 1973, Lethbridge, Alberta Saturday, 16, 1973 THE LETHBRIOCE HERALD 33 There are many individual and specific causes for suicides among the aged, but most seem to come down to NO REASONS FOR LIVING By TOM TIEDE, Newspaper Enterprise Association NEW YORK It was a neighbor who first called the police. She said she had not seen the old man in the next apartment for a week. "He's in a wheelchair and I can usually hear him mov- ing around, but it's teen quiet for days." When officers broke through the locked door they Try Before You Buy UP TO 30-DAY TRIAL ON YOUR DOCTOR'S RECOMMENDATION (JjjMAICO SMITH-JONES HEARING AID SERVICE RIPLEY OPTICAL 618 3rd Ave. S. ______Phone 328-5447 found the body of a 73-year- old man slumped in a heap on the linoleum floor. A shut-in with no friends or relatives, he had killed him- self with an overdose of plils, then lay undetected, until he was finally missed. FAMILIAR The story is depressingly familiar in America. Alone, depressed, often sick and un- wanted, the nation's elderly (especially men) are taking their own lives with alarm- ing regularity. Statistics in The World Al- manac indicate that the sui- cide rate in 1967 for men 65 and over is 38.1 for every seven points higher than men in the 45-60 category and nearly twice the total of men in the l'J-44 age group- ing. What's more, the statistics increase as do the years be- NOTICE PROPERTY OWNERS TOWN of FORT MACLEOD A General Assessment of all land, private homes, commercial pioperties, and businesses will 'be under- taken by members of the Assessment Staff, Depart- ment of Municipal Affairs, Province of Alberta, in the" near future for taxation purposes in 1974. The Town Council of Fort Macleod asks for your co-operation in allowing the Assessors to obtain the informatiorr they require, and access 10 your homes as. well as outside improvements, as is necessary. You have the privilege of asking for identifica- tion cards should you so desire. D. L. WHITE SECRETARY-TREASURER TOWN OF FORT MACLEOD ycnd. 65. Dr. Norman Farbe- row, director of the Los An- geles Suicide Prevention League, says the 65 and above rate in California -3 as high as 60 per and grows to 65 for people 75 and older. It stands to reason, Sdds Farberow: the older one gets, the more the chance for deep depression and the wish to get life over with quickly. NO DRAMATICS And generally, the elderly suicides do get it over with quickly. No dramatics for them, no games (such as making phone calls) which indicate the threat is in real- ity a cry for help; old people tend to kill themselves with neither ritual nor de'ay. Dr. Robert Kastenbaum of the American Association of Suicidology says that many older people "make their de- cision and then act." An overdose, a spoon of poison, a bullet in the head. The seriousness of their in- tent is thus part of the prob- lem it makes helping them that much more difficult. Helping them, indeed, is a baffling enigma for those con- csrned. Farterow says that old peo- ple with problems are some- what like young people with problems, in that "you have to help them solve their prob- but this is easier said than done with tne elderly. A young man's problem may be marital or economic (two common crises beard by suicide prevention people) and may be corrected with the application of common remedies. As for the aged, however, says Harry Warren of New York's National Save A Life League: "They call in here, 70-75- 80 years old. Maybe they're in wheelchairs. Maybe they have terminal cancer. Maybe their relatives are gone and their friends dead. What can you say to people like this to make them feel any bet- LITTLE REASON There seems to be little anyone can say. In fact, it is not absolutely certain that society wants to say any- thing. Many geriatric specialists, agree that society gives elder people precious little reason to live, and in fact fee's it would be belter if they were out of the way. "P e o p 1 wrote Ogden Nash, old men to die; they look at them with eyes that wonder when." This is not to say society wan's the old folks to cut their throats, but there is substan- tial evidence that public apa- thy and prejudice for the old often force exactly that. Says L. A 's Farberow: "I think it is true that we males it very hard for the elderly to live happily. As a nation we have tended to eulogize and the young, and ignore the old. We force people to retire at certain ages, thus force them to re- sign, in many cases, at the peak of the functioning pow- ers. We fore? them to accept a less contributory existence and many of them just can't do it." There are a lot of reasons for suicide among the aged. Farberow adds, but the most important is this loss of en- gagement, of self esteem. "What we do to the old, in oth'sr words, is to take away their reason for living.'1 That reason, too often, is not only "self-esteem" but "youth." North America, the land where over 30 is con- sidered the beginning of a terminal disease, is a civiliza- tion where people say they would rather die than grow old. Actually, in a study by Hub- ert Kas'enbaum (concerning student attitudes toward old 25 per cent of the re- spondents said they wanted to die before they expected to die. "I says Kasten- baum, "they didn't want to become enfeebled or what- ever." The fear of enfeeblement fa quite natural. H. L. Mencken said that "No show is so good it should run forever.'1 Besides, growing old is un- deniably, as things have tra- ditionally stood, a bother. Every generation sees its old people shuffled off to the nursing homes, boarding rooms, welfare hotels or oth- er warehouses. Every generation sees its old hobbling down boulevards (for lack of sitting on the park benches Cin the absence of mea-'ig- ful and struggling with debt (because for the great majority on fixed come there is no As W. Somerset Maugham once wrote: "What old age hard to bear is not the fading of ons's faculties, but the burden of one's Em- ories." Therefore, for many, in to- day's careless world, suicide is the only solution. Accord- ing to statistics, a man of 75 can expect to live eight more years; but for some, like the fellow in the first para- graph, the time is just too terrible to take. NATIONAL COURTESY CARD' LEASING Tne motor described on tne OJCK of tnis identifi- cation Card hit tittn Itased from a Ford Authorised Leasing System of Canada Lessor (narntd It would tie appreciated if every courtesy Including prompt and qual ty service and any appropriate discounts on parti Da extended tp tne operator of tnlt National Identification Card Predictable Costs Can Include FREE'S investment usually less than Adaptable to private individual as weii as business Current model prestige Easy way to get second car C Collect our leasing dept. for the one best rate LEASING Phona 223-3537 OUR MODERN SOCIETY requires many rules if it a to survive in a lawful and orderly manner. In the 67 years during which Albirla has been a Province, some of its laws hava become complex, unwieldy and, possibly, to you, difficult to understand. REGULATIONS exist within our laws which require clarification, revision and consolidation. A Select Committee of the Legislative Assembly has recently been estab- lished to study the condition cf Alberta Regula- tions and to report its findings to the Assembly. berta illations view YOUAREINVITEL to participate in the work of the Committee. If you have particular concerns regarding certain Alberta Regulations, send them or your recom- mendations, in writing to the address below. SUBMISSIONS POSTMARKED ON OR BEFORE JUttf are assured of the Committee's considerations. If your recommendation is comprehensive and voluminous, and if copy facilities are readily avail- able to you, a set of ten (10) copies would be appreciated. Chairman Legislative Committee on Regulations Room 503, Legislative Building EDMONTON T5K 2B6 Monday and Tuesday, June 18th and 19th THESE SPECIALS IN EFFECT ONLY AT CENTRE VILLAGE IGA-LETHBRIDGE FREE DELIVERY WE RESERVE THE RIGHT TO LIMIT QUANTITIES PRICES IN EFFECT UNTIL CLOSING, TUESDAY, JUNE 19th. GRADE A LARGE EGGS .49 HAPPY TIME ICE CREAM ASSORTED FLAVORS 3 pt. ctn. 21 .49 JOLLY MILLER ORANGE CRYSTALS 4 oz. in a pkg. 1 -49 PORK SAUSAGES SWIFT'S 21 .49 oz. pkgs. 9 R FRESH GROUND Ib. 79 POP ORANGE CRUSH, TAHITI TREAT, and PEPSI COLA 28 oz. boftlei 711 .49 (PLUS DEPOSIT) Fresh From Our In-Storo Bakery DINNER ROLLS 41 .49 BUTTER SWIFT'S No. 1 GRADE 21 .49 POTATOES CANADA NO. 1 RED OR WHITE ;