Suicide among elders: a Durkheimian proposal

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Stephen M. Marson
Rasby Marlene Powell


This article proposes a model based on Durkheim’s suicide framework as a tool for enhancing gerontological practitioner’s ability to detect and prevent suicide among elders. Although many suicide detection tools are based on psychological factors, this model focuses on identifying environmental stressors that may increase psychological stressors. To illustrate our concepts, we use case files from one author’s experience as a practicing social worker in nursing homes. We offer this model not as a replacement for psychological detection tools, but as an additional tool for practitioners who work to identify and prevent suicides among the elderly.


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