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Suicide Prevention in Senior Living Communities

Understanding Suicide Prevention in Senior Living Communities

1. Most suicide attempts by older adults are cries for help.  Most older people who attempt suicide don’t really want to die.

A. True

B. False


2. The act of an older adult trying to cause his or her own death by refusing medicine or food is known as:

A. Suicide

B. A suicide attempt

C. Passive or indirect suicide

D. None of the above


3. About 80% of older adults who die by suicide are which of the following?

A. White men

B. White women

C. Black men

D. Black women


4. All of the following are reasons why older adults have a greater chance of dying in a suicide attempt than younger people, except:

A. Older adults plan carefully and use more deadly methods. Younger people’s suicide attempts are more impulsive.

B. Older adults have experienced more life and understand that suicide is not the answer, whereas younger people have a harder time handling hard times and turn to suicide more often.

C. Older adults are more likely to live alone. They are less likely to be discovered and rescued than younger people.

D. Many older adults are physically frail. They are less likely to recover from a suicide attempt than younger people.


5. The average older adult living independently in the community is in more danger of suicide than the type of older adult who lives in a senior living community.

A. True

B. False


6. The most common means of suicide and attempted suicide in senior living communities are all of the following, except:

A. Gunshot

B. Jumping from buildings

C. Hanging

D. Taking an overdose of medication


7. Which of the following is a warning sign that someone might be in immediate danger of suicide?

A. Someone threatening to hurt or kill him/herself, or talking of wanting to hurt or kill him/herself.

B. Someone looking for ways to kill him/herself by seeking access to firearms, available pills, or other means.

C. Someone talking or writing about death, dying, or suicide, when these actions are out of the ordinary for the person.

D. All of the above are warning signs.


8. It is normal and healthy for older adults to think about, and talk about, death and dying.

A. True

B. False


9. Suicide experts usually say that if one is worried that someone is showing any of the immediate warning signs of suicide, they should:

A. Stay with that person

B. Call 911

C. Stay with that person and call 911

D. Call the person’s family


10. Which of the following are warning signs that show a person may be considering suicide, but are not at immediate risk?

A. Hopelessness

B. Feeling trapped, like there’s no way out

C. Withdrawing from friends, family, or society

D. All of the above


11. All of the following are true in regards to suicide, except:

A. Alcohol abuse is a major problem that can contribute to suicide.

B. People are more at risk for suicide after being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease than any other illness.

C. People are more at risk for suicide during transitions.

D. People are more at risk of suicide if they are socially isolated.


12. Many people who attempt suicide are suffering from depression, but depression is a normal part of getting older.

A. True

B. False


13. People are less likely to attempt suicide if they:

A. Have friends and social connections.

B. Feel good about themselves and their lives.

C. Have some purpose in life.

D. All of the above.


14. A positive physical environment can also help people feel better about their lives and thus help prevent suicide.  The color of rooms, good lighting, and the use of plants and pictures can all help create a positive environment.

A. True

B. False


Implementing Strategies to Prevent Suicide in Senior Living Communities

15. Talking with a resident about suicide will not cause him or her to attempt suicide.

A. True

B. False


16. Which of the following should not be said to a resident as it will imply that suicide is something that the resident should not be thinking about and may cause the resident not to reveal his or her true thoughts?

A. You’re not thinking about suicide are you?

B. Don’t talk like that. It’s foolish.

C. Things aren’t so bad.

D. Our problems are never as serious as we think they are.


17. A resident should not be asked which of the following questions?

A. Do you have thoughts about suicide?

B. Have you thought about methods you might use to take your life?

C. I know you’re probably not, but I wanted to check - are you thinking about suicide?

D. Are you thinking about ending your life?


18. All of the following are major risk factors for suicide, except:

A. Depression and other mental illnesses

B. Owning a firearm

C. Physical illness, disability, or pain

D. Personal and family history of suicide


19. People who have already tried to take their own lives or had a family member die by suicide are more likely to attempt suicide than other people.

A. True

B. False


20. A resident should never be asked whether he or she is planning suicide as this may push a resident toward suicide.

A. True

B. False


21. Self-esteem, a sense of competence, and believing that one’s life has meaning all can help protect an older adult against suicide risk.

A. True

B. False


Promoting the Emotional Well-Being of Residents in Senior Living Communities

22. Symptoms of depression include which of the following?

A. Lack of interest in activities.

B. Feeling overwhelmed by sadness, emptiness, or worthlessness.

C. Experiencing fatigue and lack of energy, and changes in sleep or appetite.

D. All of the above.


23. The reason a person may be uncomfortable seeking help and treatment for emotional health issues is which of the following?

A. They fear the negative stereotypes about people with emotional health problems.

B. They think they should be able to cope on their own.

C. They are not comfortable talking about their emotions.

D. All of the above.


24. It is very serious when an older adult refuses food, medicine, or other needed treatment, as this is a form of suicide.

A. True

B. False


25. Residents in senior living communities who are active and involved in meaningful recreational, creative, and social activities experience less boredom, have fewer emotional difficulties, and require less help with basic self-care needs.

A. True

B. False


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