Older Adults & Suicide

DID YOU KNOW?

  • Older men die by suicide at a rate that is more than 7x higher than that of older women. 
  • The incidence of suicide is particularly high among older, white males.  
  • Older women may also be at risk for suicide, especially if lonely or dealing with chronic pain.  

IS SOMEONE YOU KNOW AT RISK?

Risk factors for older adults include:

  • Recent death of a loved one 
  • Physical illness, disability, or pain 
  • Isolation and loneliness 
  • Major life changes, such as retirement 
  • Loss of independence 
  • Loss of sense of purpose

Know the Signs

  • Talking about wanting to die or having no reason to live
  • Looking for a way to kill oneself, such as buying a gun
  • Talking about feeling trapped or in unbearable pain
  • Saying goodbye or giving away possessions
  • Talking about being a burden to others
  • Increasing the use of alcohol or drugs
  • Sleeping too little or too much
  • Withdrawing or feeling isolated
  • Displaying extreme mood swings