It is astounding – a sweet, elderly, at times bewildered grandmother with Alzheimer’s disease getting handcuffed and put under arrest. Even so, that very scene is happening at a frightening rate among seniors, around 100,000 of them, according to the current statistics – an increase of just about 30% in the past decade. This remarkable rise in arrests among the elderly may be in part due to the explosion of growth in the population of seniors, as well as the increase in medical diagnoses of Alzheimer’s disease and other types of dementia.
Along with the anxiety and aggression that can come with Alzheimer’s disease, as well as other irregular behaviors that could constitute the need for police intervention among the general public, one particular solution lies in education. Dr. Brie Williams, geriatrician and director of the University of California, San Francisco’s Criminal Justice Aging Project, highlights the need for more appropriate police responses to dementia-induced actions. In short, this requires determining the answer to, “Is there a medical reason behind engaging in what’s normally regarded as criminal behavior?”
And in addition to criminal worries, some other situations concerning seniors with dementia are more often calling for the police to step in, like individuals with Alzheimer’s wandering off and getting lost, or being asked to check on senior citizens at the request of worried loved ones, neighbors, friends, or medical personnel.
Fortunately, the San Francisco Police Department has taken measures to make certain its law enforcement team is skilled in proper intervention practices, and provided with resources for beneficial services and local resources to assist seniors, including those with Alzheimer’s disease or other types of dementia. With some other law enforcement departments nationwide expressing interest in implementing the same programs, the hope is that greater empathy and knowledge of dementia will help us all better support those who are in desperate need of specialized care to live more full, rewarding and undisruptive lives.
For specialized Alzheimer’s disease and dementia care, guidelines, and resources, contact Heaven at Home Senior Care. Our fully qualified and knowledgeable professional dementia care team delivers patient, reliable care that brings comfort, keeping family members safe at home, helping them participate in mentally stimulating pursuits and physical exercise as appropriate, and tending to daily tasks that would require help and support. Beginning with the creation of a customized plan of care, that plan is then executed and modified ongoing as needs change. Providing the highest quality Denton home care, we’re here for you any time at (940) 432-5670.