- Objectives Bipolar disorder (BD) carries the greatest risk of death by suicide of all psychiatric conditions as 25%–50% of those with BD will make one or more suicide attempt, and about 15% will intentionally end their lives. Among young adults with BD, substance misuse, medication non-adherence, age at onset, and comorbid psychiatric conditions each predict self-harm. It is currently unclear if these same factors or others predict suicide ideation among older adults with BD. Methods We recruited a global sample of 220 older adults with BD over 19 days using socio-demographically targeted, social media advertising and online data collection (Mean = 58.50, SD = 5.42; range 50 to 81 years). Path analyses allowed us to identify direct and indirect predictors of suicide ideation among older adults with BD. Results Cognitive failures (perception, memory, and motor function), depressive symptoms, alcohol misuse, and dissatisfaction with life as direct predictors of suicide ideation; duration of BD symptoms and medication non-adherence emerged as indirect predictors. Of note, the significant impact of sleep on suicide ideation is indirect via depressive symptoms, cognitive failures, medication non-adherence and life dissatisfaction. Conclusions As with young adults with BD, alcohol misuse and medication non-adherence emerged as significant predictors of suicide ideation. In addition, cognitive failures directly and indirectly predict suicide ideation in this sample of older adults with BD. Population aging and treatment efficacy are leading to ever growing numbers of older adults with BD. Both direct and indirect predictors of suicide ideation need to be considered in future BD research and treatment planning.