Stevens, E. S. (1993). Making sense of usefulness: An avenue toward satisfaction in later life. International Aging and Human Development, 37(4), 313-325.
Depression in older adults is often either induced or exacerbated by problems related to the social and physical isolation stemming from life cycle changes (Gannon, Vaux, Rhodes, & Luchetta, 1992, pp. 288-301). The capacity to recognize and develop strategies to deal with such life cycle changes before depression develops is required. Among the many reasons why the suicide rate is so high for the elderly is the isolation and loneliness that leads to despair, also boredom, depression, uselessness, loss of loved ones, economic hardships, general feeling of unhappiness with life, and persons who suffer from a psychological affliction, from loss of purpose and a sense of meaningfulness after retirement and separation from family and friends (Stevens, 1993, pp. 313-325). Additionally, suicide rates among the elderly may be higher than for other age groups because of a widening social acceptance of the concept of the rational suicide for those individuals in the advanced stages of terminal illnesses, with serious and incurable physical illnesses, and those experiencing debilitating pain, with no recourse for relief which would leave then as alert and viable human beings. In this context, many elderly persons have indicated clearly that they no longer want to be burdens, and want to end their lives with dignity and grace while they are still aware and alert human beings.
Ward, R. A. (1993, May). Marital happiness and household equity in later life. Journal of Marriage and the Family, 55, 427-438.
Studies indicate that older adults are commonly subject to depression (Ward, 1993, pp. 427-438). Depression is possibly the most serious of the psychological problems that are faced by older adults. As individuals age, psychological, physiological, and sociological changes occur that cause interpersonal communicati