Suicide increases with age and is most common
in persons aged 65 years and older. That age group accounts for 18% of all
suicides in the United States. As is true for younger individuals, the main
factor that can lead to suicide in older persons is major
depression, a medical illness to be distinguished from normal feelings
of sadness and grief after a loss, such as the death of a relative or friend.
Older persons are more likely to be socially isolated and have more physical
illnesses than younger people. They are also more likely to use highly lethal
methods of suicide, such as firearms.