Suicide of elderly persons: Towards a framework for prevention

DEMİRÇİN S., Akkoyun M., Yılmaz R., Gokdogan M. R.

GERIATRICS & GERONTOLOGY INTERNATIONAL, vol.11, no.1, pp.107-113, 2011 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 11 Issue: 1
  • Publication Date: 2011
  • Doi Number: 10.1111/j.1447-0594.2010.00660.x
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.107-113
  • Keywords: complex suicide, elderly persons, prevention, risk factors, sharp force injury, PLANNED COMPLEX SUICIDE, SHARP FORCE, INJURY, LIFE
  • Akdeniz University Affiliated: Yes


Suicide is an act of intentionally terminating one's own life. Although suicide rates vary across demographic categories, they have increased by approximately 60% in the last 50 years. Many studies of adolescent suicidal behavior have noted impulsivity to be a common feature in the younger age group, while with older people there is evidence of planning and a strong intent to die. In fact, older people are most successful as an age group with approximately one in four attempts resulting in death. While very comprehensive statistics are available on many aspects of this problem for the Turkish population as a whole, this data does not include physical factors like illnesses, legal domiciles like nursing homes, economic standards and history of attempted suicides. This necessary data would add greatly to the available data and accuracy of research in this area. Whereas Turkish national risk factor procedures are available, precaution procedures and suicide attempt data is not. There is no way of knowing how many deceased had a history of repetitions. It is suggested that this could be attributed to routine failure to observe and mitigate risk factors. The size of this problem is being demonstrated with this presented case report about a planned complex suicide with multiple sharp forced injuries and substance intoxication; a completed suicide that was potentially preventable with timely detection and intervention. In accordance, suicidal risk factors in the old age population, precautions, along with the characteristics of this suicidal case, are evaluated within existing published work. Geriatr Gerontol Int 2011; 11: 107-113.