The growing number of aging Iowans means more are dealing with Alzheimer’s disease. Some 64,000 in the state suffer from this disease at a time when Iowa is tightening its Medicaid system, which pays for long-term nursing home care for Alzheimer’s patients.
The number of suicides among men 75 years or older has increased to the highest level in more than a decade, and federal data indicate that the rate is likely to worsen. But the problem gets little attention, Iowans dealing with the problem said.
Suicide prevention is getting attention in Iowa from several approaches. For example, the Legislature in 2014 directed the Iowa Department of Public Health and Department of Education to collaborate on advancing suicide prevention efforts. But some health care professionals worry that elderly suicide prevention does not get enough attention. The following graphics and charts, compiled at the end of 2014, provide illustrations and raw data for those interested in delving more into this public matter. Read an IowaWatch story that digs into this matter here.