“Doctors Need to Talk to Families About Guns and Dementia” – The New York Times

” … since 2012, people with dementia used guns to kill themselves or others.”

guns dementiaCreditAndrew Spear for The New York Times”

by Melissa Bailey, Kaiser Health News

“Some patients refuse to answer. Many doctors don’t ask. Family members worry about offending a suffering loved one. As the number of Americans with dementia rises, health professionals are grappling with when and how to pose the question: “Do you have guns at home?”

“While gun violence data is scarce, a Kaiser Health News investigation with PBS NewsHour published in June uncovered over 100 cases across the United States since 2012 in which people with dementia used guns to kill themselves or others. The shooters often acted during bouts of confusion, paranoia, delusion or aggression — common symptoms of dementia. Tragically they shot spouses, children and caregivers.

“Yet health care providers across the country say they have not received enough guidance on whether, when and how to counsel families on gun safety.”

Read this New York Times article in its entirety here.

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