A number of elderly patients commit suicide due to the interaction of various factors, including, for
example, feelings of loneliness, financial distress, alcohol abuse, chronic pain, progressive diseases, and personality
disorders. The data from the EU countries with the highest rates of suicide and suicide attempts among
people over 55 years of age warrant the consideration of new approaches to address this social problem.
Methods: PubMed and other databases, including Polish National data, were used for the analyses.
Results: The average European suicide-attempt rate is 18 per 100 thousand inhabitants. More cases of suicides
were reported among those over 55 years of age. Suicide attempts from the year 2012 to 2014 and deaths in
2012 have been reviewed. The risk factors involved in these events, such as depression and social situations including
loneliness, health condition, etc., have been discussed to suggest a plausible preventative approach for
this important elderly problem.
Conclusion: The psychophysiology of elderly persons affected by retirement, socio-economic changes, limited
personal autonomy, loneliness, lack of support by the family, and diseases ultimately may lead elderly patients
to commit suicide. Thus, financial freedom, family support (respect, love, and care), proper medications, psychological
and psychiatric interventions may help the elderly avoid suicidal thoughts and prevent attempts.