Year: 2000 Source: Omega, v.42, no.1, (2000-2001), p.37-53 SIEC No: 20010504

Despite the difficulties in preventing older adult suicide, opportunities do exist. Psychotherapeutic & psychopharmacological treatments for depression may be effective in suicidal older adults although they have not yet been widely tested. Community agencies with specialized programs for older adults show promise. Results are presented from the evaluation of one such agency, the Center for Elderly Suicide Prevention. After receiving agency services, hopelessness improved among clients but not in a comparison group. There were no significant changes in depressive symptoms or life satisfaction. Recommendations for future prevention efforts include: use of medical contacts to screen for depression & suicide; assessment of suicide risk with even small elevations in depressive symptoms; considerations of physical health status & level of hopelessness in assessing suicide risk; research on effective psychotherapies with suicidal older adults; & support of innovative community outreach & intervention programs. (47 refs.)