Please remove firearms from home with dementia patients

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It's happened again. In my state a 79 year-old husband and father who suffered with dementia shot and killed his wife and 55 year-old daughter inside their home.

Family, friends and neighbors grieve the tragic loss. They were a wonderful and loving family, according to all reports. Reports indicate that the man WILL be CHARGED WITH MURDER. Of course, depending on his cognitive ability, there is unlikely to be an actual prosecution.

I find this so heartbreaking. Please, be aware of the dangers and remove firearms from the home if your family members have dementia. It's not worth it and even though, they are loving people, their condition may render them unpredictable and aggressive. You must take action and not be afraid of hurting someone's feelings by removing their firearms. It's a matter of life and death.


Oh, this occurred in North Carolina.
so very sad. thanks for sharing.
Oh that's just heart breaking!
All firearms need to be kept in a safe and the shells need to be in a different safe. At least thats the way it was in our house (growing up).
Likewise, all knives, knitting needles, saws, hammers, anything a dementia person could use to harm/kill another person or pet, should be removed. Pretty soon its apparent, what needs to be removed is the dementia patient, not the potentially dangerous items. Actually baseball bats and hockey skates are dangerous. Even the spoons in MRE (meals ready to eat, used by our troops) have been used successfully to eliminate ISIS troops.
The problem with keeping the guns and ammo in separate safes inside the home, is that a person with dementia may be at a stage that enables them to still function enough to open them both, but their judgment part is not working right and they use them on their family members. Or, they still have the ability to open both safes, but they then have an hallucination that causes them to shoot family members. They may think they are impostors or strangers who are out to harm them.

I'll look forward to seeming more about this case in NC, but, from what the family said on the news, the dementia patient was also depressed. So, a depressed person with dementia is really an unsafe place to have firearms. Likely, people just never thought something like that would happen. I'm not sure why the public is so resistant to the idea of safety. I'm from the south and I suppose it's just ingrained deeper here to hang on to firearms.
Sunnygirl, you are 100% correct about this being a matter of urgency. There are so many dangers for caregivers, children, etc.

The problem with just locking stuff up is that you don't know what the person can remember or finagle. We don't always know how someone will act and at the early stages when they can still remember quite a bit but they are not thinking right, it is SO hard to convince someone that it's time to "lock up" the gun. (And many of these men have slept with a gun by their bedside most of their adult life.) They may try to stash or hide them. It is better just to take them as you find them and give them to the police. (It's as bad as trying to get them to give up the keys, or worse, since you can always convince them that you will drive them yourself. )

Firearms (unlike knives, bats, etc.) is that they require no strength to do damage, and the victim could be someone other than the handler. (The bath and kitchen tool stuff mention above is more likely to be a danger only to the dementia patient.) There are some old men who are VERY stubborn and have spent decades watching John Wayne and Bonanza and all that where a gun was the answer to all your problems. I think a lot of them have delusions about their own role in the family, masculinity and firearms all tied up together. And the problem is that if someone is going to get hurt, it could easily be a caregiver, family, or child. That is scary and not fair.

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