Guns and Dementia: Dealing With A Loved One’s Firearms

Estate Planning, Wills And Trusts

Having a loved one with dementia can be scary, but if you add in a firearm, it can also get dangerous. To prevent harm to both the individual with dementia and others, it is important to plan ahead for how to deal with any weapons.

Research shows that 45 percent of all adults aged 65 years or older either own a gun or live in a household with someone who does. For someone with dementia, the risk for suicide increases, and firearms are the most common method of suicide among people with dementia. In addition, a person with dementia who has a gun may put family members or caregivers at risk if the person gets confused about their identities or the possibility of intruders. A 2018 Kaiser Health News investigation that looked at news reports, court records, hospital data and public death records since 2012 and found more than 100 cases in which people with dementia used guns to kill or injure themselves or others.

The best thing to do is talk about the guns before they become an issue. When someone is first diagnosed with dementia, there should be a conversation about gun ownership similar to the conversation many health professionals have about driving and dementia. Framing the issue as a discussion about safety may help make it easier for the person with dementia to acknowledge a potential problem. A conversation about guns can also be part of a larger long-term care planning discussion with an elder law attorney, who can help families write up a gun agreement that sets forth who will determine when it is time to take the guns away and where the guns should go. Even if the gun owner doesn’t remember the agreement when the time comes to put it to use, having a plan in place can be helpful.

What to do with the guns themselves is a difficult question. One option is to lock the weapon or weapons in a safe and store the ammunition separately. Having the guns remain in the house–even if they are locked away–can be risky. Another option is to remove the weapons from the house altogether. However, in some states, there are strict rules about transferring gun ownership, so it isn’t always easy to simply give the guns away. Give me a call at 954-515-0101 or contact my office to find out more.

For more information about dementia and guns, click here and here.

Share:

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin

More Posts

Vaccine for Snowbirds

Snowbirds to get Florida Covid Vaccine

When it comes to the vaccine for COVID-19, snowbirds are equal to the rest of us.

Senior visitors spending the winter in Florida, (including some just entering the state looking for the vaccine?) along with seniors who live in the state full-time and those with medical conditions, can get the vaccine here.

How to Celebrate Holidays with Seniors 2020

Although we really want a big family celebration where we can all celebrate the holidays together, that might not be the best idea right now. Many families are understandably trying to find other ways to be able to connect with our silver-aged loved ones during the holidays.

End of Year Taxes and Charitable Donation

As part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, Congress created a one-time $300 charitable deduction for people who do not itemize on their tax returns. To qualify, you must give cash (including paying by check or credit card) to a 501(c)(3) charity. G

Jakob Legal helps a senior couple with Health Care Directives sitting together on plaid at sandy beach.

Its Medicare Advantage Season

Now is the annual opportunity to change medicare coverage. From Oct. 15 until Dec. 7, enrollees can shop Medicare’s marketplace for the prescription drug and Advantage plans offered by commercial insurance companies. They can also switch between fee-for-service original Medicare and Advantage.
And they will have plenty of choices: Next year, the typical Medicare enrollee will be able to choose from 57 Medicare prescription or Advantage plans that include drug coverage, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.

Please Contact Me

Skip to content