“And when life has no more meaning in old age, the will to meaning is lost; when life no longer seems to be worth living, some people who have experienced disasters and are unable to cope, may throw their lives away.” (Wilson et al, 1988) There continues to be a great deal of interest among psychiatrists, psychologists and sociologists about post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) related to war crimes and experiences. Twentieth century studies of Holocaust victims and Far East prisoners of war, Korean and Vietnam veterans and the recent experiences of people in Bosnia have honed the diagnosis and increased awareness of the gradations of these disorders. Almost every conceivable variable has been examined in attempts to explore the motivating and resulting behaviours. Initially most studies dealt with the immediate impact of the event, but more recently articles have focused on the longer-term effects on relatives and the next generations of the earlier events (Sigal, 1998). Time has allowed this. The passage of time has also established that post-traumatic stress symptoms can be reactivated as much as half a century after the original trauma (Krasucki et al, 1995). Reactivation of events from 40 or 50 years previously may occur via current stressors such as social isolation and upheaval. Equally perceived helplessness precipitated by the somatic process of ageing could reactivate previous feelings and a delayed onset or exacerbation of clinical PTSD may emerge during the process of ageing. Institutionalisation itself could re-awaken feelings associated with incarceration or victimisation (Aarts & Op den Velde, 1996; Sadavoy, 1997). Late-life PTSD is more often associated with sleep disturbance, nightmares, intrusive ideation and avoidance of reminders of the original events (Kuch & Cox, 1992).