Year: 2017 Source: Current Opinion in Psychology. (2018). 22: 79-83. SIEC No: 20170474

Late life suicide prevention differs from suicide prevention for other age groups: first, the number of older adults worldwide is on the rise; second, late-life suicide receives much less attention in all societal spheres, from the media, to federal funding agencies, to healthcare initiatives. Recent findings indicate an association between internalized ageist stereotypes and reduced will to live. Recent research also addresses the role of cognitive control as a contributor to risk and as an intervention target (e.g., through psychotherapies such as problem solving therapy) as well as firearm safety as a promising, though a politicized and challenging strategy to implement. Another strategy that may prove feasible is an approach on upstream prevention strategies in healthcare. One strategy we believe holds great promise is the promotion of high quality geriatric medicine. Geriatricians are trained to work with patients to prioritize the promotion of physical and cognitive functioning (rather than solely absence of disease) and to focus on well-being as a goal. Thus, geriatricians routinely target numerous late-life suicide risk factors-physical illness, functioning, pain, and (dis)satisfaction with life. However, efficacious strategies will not prevent suicide deaths if they are not implemented-addressing ageism as a universal prevention strategy is essential.