It is astounding – a kind, sometimes bewildered grandpa with Alzheimer’s disease being handcuffed and placed under arrest. But nevertheless, that very scene is happening at an alarming rate among seniors, over 100,000 of them, according to the latest statistics – an increase of nearly 30% in the past decade. This dramatic increase in arrests among the elderly might be partially because of 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.
Together with the anxiety and aggression that can go along with dementia, along with other unpredictable 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, stresses the need for appropriate police responses to dementia-induced actions. In a nutshell, this calls for identifying the answer to, “Is there a medical reason behind engaging in what’s typically regarded as criminal behavior?”
And besides criminal concerns, some other situations involving seniors are more frequently requiring the police to step in, such as people with Alzheimer’s wandering off and becoming lost, or being asked to check up on aging adults at the request of concerned relatives, neighbors, friends, or medical personnel.
Thankfully, the San Francisco Police Department has taken actions to make certain its law enforcement team is skilled in proper intervention techniques, as well as supplied with resources for beneficial services and local resources to support older adults, including those with Alzheimer’s disease or other types of dementia. With other law enforcement departments nationwide expressing interest in creating similar programs, the hope is that increased empathy and knowledge of dementia will help us all better assist people in desperate need of professional dementia care to live more full, productive and undisruptive lives.
For professional Alzheimer’s and dementia care, tips, and resources, contact All Care In-Home Care Solutions in Jackson County. Our fully trained and experienced professional dementia care team offers patient, reliable care that delivers comfort to family caregivers, keeping their family members safe at home, helping them take part in mentally stimulating pursuits and exercise as appropriate, and looking after daily activities that would require support. Beginning with the creation of a customized care plan, that plan is then implemented and modified ongoing as needs change. Call us at (541) 857-9195 to learn more.