Suicide risk for seniors moving into residential homes

May 18, 2010

"While a move can represent a positive change, all moves involve some degree of loss," say Carol Podgorski from the University of Rochester in New York and colleagues in an article published this week in PLoS Medicine, and this can lead to heightened risk for suicidal behavior.

Whether by choice or necessity, more are now living in residential homes. And while the residences themselves are designed to be appealing, the underlying reasons that precipitate moving into a residential home, as well as the ensuing adjustment process, often result in stress that can sometimes lead to . Dr. Podgorski and colleagues lay out risk factors for suicidal behavior in older adults living in residential communities including (widowing, divorce, , loss, and family discord) and medical factors such as increased physical and psychotic illnesses.

The authors suggest ways that public health systems and residential communities can counter suicidal behavior in older adults living within communal accommodation: "The public health approach to suicide is consistent with theories of aging in that it calls for actions that aim to mitigate the multiple, cumulative losses for which older adults are at increased risk." The authors conclude that "there is no single blueprint for a suicide prevention plan. It is incumbent upon each facility to assess its own characteristics and resident populations and to use that information to set priorities and establish relevant goals."

Explore further: CDC charges Johns Hopkins to lead development of Ebola training module

More information: Podgorski CA, Langford L, Pearson JL, Conwell Y (2010) Suicide Prevention for Older Adults in Residential Communities: Implications for Policy and Practice. PLoS Med 7(5): e1000254. doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1000254

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Study reveals state of crisis in Canadian foster care system

Oct 24, 2014

A new study of foster care in Canada led by a researcher at Western University reveals a shrinking number of foster care providers are available across the country to care for a growing number of children with increasingly ...

Researchers prove the benefits of persimmons for diet

Oct 24, 2014

Alba Mir and Ana Domingo, researchers from the Department of Analytical Chemistry of the University of Valencia, under the supervision of professors Miguel de la Guardia and Maria Luisa Cervera, from the same department, ...

Hand blenders used for cooking can emit persistent chemicals

Oct 24, 2014

Eight out of twelve tested models of hand blenders are leaking chlorinated paraffins when used according to the suppliers' instructions. This is revealed in a report from Stockholm University where researchers analyzed a ...

User comments : 0