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Older Suicide by Race and Gender, 1992
70
1.4
0.1
6.6
2.6
6.3
11.8
2.0
7.2
10.1
20
6.3
18.5
18.9
32.0
40
26.0
Percent
African American
females
50
10
53.0
White males
African American
males
White females
60
30
67.6
80
0
55-64
65-74
75-84
Age Groupings
85+
Risk Factors for Suicide in Late Adulthood
• Living alone and being socially isolated
• Experiencing financial difficulty
• Feeling depressed or useless
• Being alcohol or drug dependent
• Having a mental illness that reduces communication
• Suffering from chronic pain, illness, or incapacity
• Being unable to express grief or suffering
• Losing significant relationships due to the death of loved ones
Elisabeth Kubler-Ross’s Stages of Coping with Death
Stage
Associated Feelings
Denial
“Not me.”
Anger
“Why me?”
Bargaining
“Yes me, but . . .”
Depression
“Yes me.”
Begin to mourn.
Acceptance
“My time is very close now, and
it’s all right.”
Source: Kubler-Ross, E. (1969), On death and dying, New York: MacMillan.
Ways in Which Culture Influences Death Concerns
• Affects the assessment of comfort needs of the dying and the
kind of care provided
• Influences selection, perception, and evaluation of health care
givers and their methods
• Shapes beliefs about causes of death.
• Determines the disposition of the body and funeral and burial
rituals
• Patterns grief responses and bereavement roles.
Source: Adapted from Ross (1994)