asure would be to develop an appropriate intervention program that not only screens the elderly population for depression and other suicide risk factors, but educates, informs, supports, and helps the elderly know that their thoughts are not taboo, but need to be talked about.
Although elderly suicide has not been extensively studied, Cattell and Jolley (1995) conducted a study on 100 suicide deaths in the city of Manchester on individuals over the age of 65. They found out that marriage was a protective factor for men, as the suicide rates for elderly men were higher in widowed and single men than married men. For females, there was no such protective factor (Cattell amp. Jolley, 1995, p. 453). 89% of those studied were British nationality, compared to three Polish, two Chinese and two Indian nationals. They found that there was no significant increase among any of the ethnic minorities…when compared with the ethnic origin of the elderly population (Cattell amp. Jolley, 1995, p. 453). 89 of the 100 suicides occurred at home, while two occurred in hospitals and none in psychiatric hospitals. 49% of the individuals were living alone at the time of their suicide, but this is no statistically significant, as 50% of all pensionable aged persons were living alone at this time (Cattell amp. Jolley, 1995, p. 453).
They also found that 44% of the older adults committed suicide by taking a drug overdose, 24% hanged themselves, 12% asphyxiated themselves, 6% drowned themselves, 1% killed themselves with motor vehicle exhaust and 5% used other methods. The men used more violent methods then women, as 41% of the men hanged themselves, compared to only 7% of women. For drug overdoses, it was just the opposite – 67% of women died by drug overdose, compared to just 18% of men (Cattell amp. Jolley, 1995, p. 453).
As a further examination of the characteristics of the elderly who commit suicide, Shab amp. Chatterjee (2008) conducted a study that investigated the link between