Thursday, September 29, 2011 HunnyBee, Community Member, asks

Q: Suicide among older person isn't concern is this statement valid? Why or why not?

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Answers (3)
Carol Bradley Bursack, Health Guide
10/ 1/11 9:32am

Good points, Nina. The cases of suicide that I read about tend to be more murder/suicide - where one spouse has been giving care for years and sees that it can't go on, yet they don't know what to do. They are isolated, and the caregiving spouse (often a man, likely because in rural areas they may have access to hunting weapons and such), decides it's "better for everyone" and commits the act. This is heartbreaking, and speaks to our culture where we let people get into these situations.


Thanks for your input!


NC, Community Member
9/30/11 10:30am

I am not sure what you mean by older person - you are talking about dementia?

I don't know why people say it is not a concern.

However, the person with dementia do get depressed because they lose the ability to act normally and the memory loss makes them confused. So certainly they get more depressed and moody and some are even combative in late stage.

The doctors can give them antidepressant and antipsychotic drugs.


Perhaps the reason is that they cannot carry out suicude in moderate/late stage as they lose the ability to function normally in daily life. They do verbally express their depression. e.g., my FIL once got the impression that hospital could kill him (it was just his own delusion) in 2009 so he often thinks people can just put him down so he would wait in the yard to die in 2009. Last year he still would think of wanting to die. But he cannot commit suicide without "help". Now he is happy at times given the activities in the home.



Christine Kennard, Health Pro
10/ 1/11 12:40pm
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Hi HuneyBee


Here is some reliable information on suicide rates of elders from the National Institute of Mental Health;

Older Americans are disproportionately likely to die by suicide.

Of every 100,000 people ages 65 and older, 14.3 died by suicide in 2007. This figure is higher than the national average of 11.3 suicides per 100,000 people in the general population.


Non-Hispanic white men age 85 or older had an even higher rate, with 47 suicide deaths per 100,000.


Best Wishes


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By HunnyBee, Community Member— Last Modified: 03/10/14, First Published: 09/29/11