7/23/2014

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Firearm safety when a family member has dementia

It's always important to be extremely careful when there's a gun in the house. That's crucial when a loved-one in the family has Alzheimer's disease or some other form of dementia.

"Just having dementia leads to a situation where there are a lot of risks and a lot of unsafe behaviors that can take place," said Joanne Maher, with the Alzheimer's Association of Western Washington. "A person with dementia can be impulsive. They can easily misread the situation. And at times, as a lot of caregivers know, they don't necessarily recognize the other person in the room with them."

Maher says depression often accompanies dementia, which can increase the risk of suicide.

"And though there is somewhat of a myth that someone with dementia won't commit suicide, that's not true," she said. "And the availability of guns needs to be taken into consideration."

The Alzheimer's Association reminds us that someone trained in firearm's safety can forget those safe handling skills as their disease progresses.

The Alzheimer's Association's Helpline, 1-800-272-3900, is a toll-free number that you can call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to get information about the disease or support groups.

More Info:
Staying Safe: Steps to take for a person with dementia

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