Dementia a gun safety issue
January 2, 2013
As we discuss gun safety and mental health issues as a nation, I hope we include dementia as another risk factor.
Public health officers have a role to play. Gun safety screenings should be done at points of contact with individuals at risk. They could be performed by physicians, clergy, counselors, home care agencies, etc.
Nevada County has a high percentage of seniors. Tragic losses have occurred here that don't make the news.
While not mass murders, a single death at the hand of someone with known mental confusion causes great pain in a family and community, and it's avoidable. A public campaign to offer education and supports to family, friends and professionals would make a difference in stopping tragedies.
Gun control is a politically charged topic. Yet there's much we agree on regarding gun safety. As a mental health professional, I've rarely (if ever?) heard gun safety and dementia discussed together. With our aging demographics, how can we not?