Correlates of suicide among home health care utilizers who died by suicide and community controls
Home health care patients often have several late-life risk factors for suicide and constitute a high risk group for suicidal behaviors. In this study, we examined the characteristics of 14 older adult home health care utilizers who died by suicide and four community controls who used similar services. Both groups of home health care utilizers had multiple health problems and, with one exception, all were functionally impaired. Descriptive comparison suggests that suicide decedents were more likely than their counterparts to suffer from depressed mood, suicidal ideation, prior suicide attempt(s), alcohol dependence, chronic pain, strained family relationships, lack of social support, and financial difficulties. Identifying suicide risk factors that place older adult home health care utilizers at particularly high risk for suicidal behaviors within this population will further help target suicide preventive interventions by home care providers.