According to the American Association of Suicidology, in 2007, the elderly (age 65+) made up 12.5% of the US population, yet they accounted for almost 15.7% of all suicides. The rate of suicide for the elderly for 2007 was 14.3 per 100,000. White men over the age of 85, were at the greatest risk of all age-gender-race groups. In 2007, the suicide rate for these men was 45.42 per 100,000.
In addition, numbers released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show an increase in suicides amongst people in their 50s and early 60s. Those are baby boomers who are joining the ranks of elders over the coming years. A recent article in the Washington Post illustrates this.
Institute on Aging offers two important programs comprising Grief Services for people of all ages, and the Friendship Line, a nationally accredited crisis line, offering a human connection for people 60 years of age and older, younger disabled and caregivers of any age, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Since isolation is a risk factor for both depression and suicide, “the Friendship Line is literally a life line that hasn’t gone unanswered since 1973”, says Institute on Aging’s Dr. Patrick Arbore, a national figure and recipient of the 2013 Mental Health and Aging Award presented by the American Society on Aging for outstanding contributions to the field of aging. He is the Founder and Director of the Center for Elderly Suicide Prevention and Grief Related Services at Institute on Aging.
Dr. Arbore conducts workshops and presents lectures locally and nationally on aging related subjects including elderly suicide prevention, hoarding, substance abuse, compassion fatigue, communication, depression, traumatic loss, and many others. He is the author of numerous articles and book chapters on a variety of topics, including a chapter he co-authored entitled “Suffering and the Caring Professional” in When Professionals Weep: Emotional and Countertransference Responses in End-of-Life Care (2006). He is also a Senior Lecturer in the Human Services Division at Notre Dame de Namur University in Belmont, CA. Patrick has also been a part-time Lecturer in the School of Social Welfare at the University of California, Berkeley.
Please get in touch with us if you would like more information about our Services or Dr. Arbore’s work by calling 415.750.4111.