Care CEUs

Suicide and the Elderly

Finding the Facts

1. Which of the following is an accurate statement about suicide in the United States?

A. In 2007, 28,394 people in the United States died by suicide, and about every 13.4 minutes someone in this country intentionally ends his/her life. B. From 1979-2007, 662,482 people died by suicide, whereas 486,087 died from AIDS and HIV-related diseases C. 78% of people who die by suicide are suffering from one or more psychiatric disorders D. In adolescents, 50% communicated their suicide intent to family members, and in elderly, 58% communicated their intent to the primary care doctor

Myths versus Facts

2. Most suicidal people experience indecision and suicidal ambivalence rather than being fully intent on dying.

A. True B. False

Risk Factors

3. The most common psychiatric risk factors resulting in suicide include each of the following EXCEPT:

A. Alcohol abuse and dependence B. Atypical depression or dysthymia C. Drug abuse and dependence D. Schizophrenia

4. Living alone and being unemployed or retired are considered environmental risk factors for suicide.

A. True B. False

Preventing Suicide One Community at a Time

5. Education for suicide prevention should include individual and public awareness, educational tools, and

A. Research and training B. Professional awareness C. Community outreach D. None of the above


6. Studies indicate that applying correct therapeutic techniques reduces suicide attempts by ____________ over an 18 month period.

A. Thirty percent B. Forty percent C. Fifty percent D. Sixty percent

7. The Internet may pose a significant danger to vulnerable individuals because of suicide chat rooms, instructions on methods, and solicitations for suicide pacts.

A. True B. False

You Can Help!

8. Experts recommend being direct in a caring, non-confrontational way when speaking to someone who is thinking about suicide.

A. True B. False

9. When assisting the suicidal person, it is important to:

A. Reassure him or her that help is available and that you will assist in getting such help B. Encourage the person to identify familiar people who can also help C. Outline a safety plan with the suicidal person D. All of the above

Suicide and the Elderly

10. Suicide rates by race for those who are sixty-five and older indicate that:

A. The highest suicide rates for this age group are among Asians, and the lowest rates are among American Indians B. The rates for Whites age 65+ are approximately 25 suicides for every 100,000 people C. In 2007, Alaska had the highest suicide rate for the elderly, followed by Nevada D. None of the above

Elderly Suicide in the U.S.: Statistics

11. While ___ of all suicides in the United States in the year 2007 used a firearm , the rate of firearm use for elderly adults age 65 and over was ____ .

A. 50%; 71.9% B. 45%; 75.2% C. 40%; 79.6% D. 35%; 83.1%

Risk Factors

12. Research clearly indicates that recent bereavement is a significant factor in elderly suicide.

A. True B. False

Treatment with SSRIs and the Elderly

13. Although studies are limited with this age group, a suicide study of 1329 Ontario residents age 66 and older indicated that:

A. There was a three fold risk of completed suicide in the first month of SSRI treatment, but not in subsequent months B. 59% percent received no antidepressant therapy within 6 months prior to suicide C. Risk of suicide in the first month after beginning SSRI treatment may decrease because of the improvement of symptoms, and because the patient may be energized to get well D. 32% were on antidepressant therapy within six months prior to suicide

Depression in the Primary Care Setting

14. It is estimated that 10-13% of elderly patients in primary care settings are suffering from major depression, while 23-42% have mild depressive symptoms.

A. True B. False

Community-Based Suicide Prevention Programs

15. The community-based suicide intervention program that calls for two-step depression screening, psychoeducation, and group activity is known as:


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