Alzheimers and guns - Page 2

Alzheimers and guns

This is a discussion on Alzheimers and guns within the Home (And Away From Home) Defense Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; Hopyards advice is actually very good advice. Alz sufferers are all different and all unique -- I do know this, because I run an Assisted ...

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  1. #16
    Distinguished Member Array bigmacque's Avatar
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    Hopyards advice is actually very good advice.

    Alz sufferers are all different and all unique -- I do know this, because I run an Assisted Living company and we currently have almost 300 Alz residents under roof. Figuring out a way to play along with him will be a perfect solution. I was thinking of maybe getting some empty brass and loading, so it would look loaded but not have any rim marks from a firing pin, or loading it with snap caps that can look real.


    One thing I would wonder about is whether it's really alz or dementia. If he's remembering mom's name, remembering you and your brother, and remembering to check the gun every night, it could be more an increasing paranoia than dementia.

    After all else fails, by all means, take the gun away.
    I'm in favor of gun control -- I think every citizen should have control of a gun.
    1 Thess. 5:16-18


  2. #17
    New Member Array diehard2024's Avatar
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    Thanks

    Thanks so much to each one of you for the great advice. Every idea will be given the respectful consideration it deserves. We may start with the empty brass and go to the next step if that doesn't fool him. I knew I count on you guys.

  3. #18
    Member Array oldhippy's Avatar
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    Buy a cheaper safe that can only be opened by combination or fingerprint. Load your fingerprint in so you can show him how easy it is to open. When he tries he must be doing something wrong. My wife has early alzheimers and a safe is in the immediate future.

  4. #19
    Ex Member Array azchevy's Avatar
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    Lay the law down and take the weapon. Why can't people take a stand against family? Some things are just common sense. Sorry for being so harsh but would you rather get the call that he shot an intruder and it turns out to be another family member even your mother?
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  5. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by azchevy View Post
    Lay the law down and take the weapon. Why can't people take a stand against family? Some things are just common sense. Sorry for being so harsh but would you rather get the call that he shot an intruder and it turns out to be another family member even your mother?
    I think a person with early to moderate dementia needs social contact and reassurance, and a normal routine. In this man's instance, possession of the gun is part of his routine. If the sons take it away and lay the law down, they are not doing something which is totally benign; necessary perhaps at some point nonetheless, but not benign.

    Better they humor him so long as the end result is that he is safe and those about him are safe.

    My mom had some form of senility (likely not Alzheimer's though her memory was going rapidly so she didn't recall she had a brother or always remember my name), and the one time I tried to put my foot down (over a refusal to follow her doctor's instruction) I discovered she had enough functional brain to literally cause herself, me, and my sister lots of difficulties which have not been resolved even 10 years since her passing. For the next two years till her passing she referred to me as, "that awful man."

    The OP's dad may take great offense at having his gun taken, claim his sons are terrible offspring, and generally make a fuss. He won't be able to understand that they are doing him a loving favor and he will then perhaps act paranoid and hostile around them. That is the danger of a direct approach.
    bigmacque likes this.
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  6. #21
    Ex Member Array azchevy's Avatar
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    I have dealt with a dementia to Alzheimer patient in the family.... the weapon needs to go before someone gets shot. Especially if this person has been diagnosed with pre-alzheimer dementia. No exceptions. To not do so is irresponsible.

  7. #22
    Distinguished Member Array bigmacque's Avatar
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    Chevy I appreciate your persistence and concern, and I can also state that at some point in time the urgency you speak of will be necessary.

    But it doesn't hurt to try something along the way, for a lot of reasons. Depending on his level of cognizance, just taking it away right now could lead to any number of repercussions, even something as dramatic as marching downtown and buying another one and making sure no one knows about it. The other thing to consider is it may not be Alz or dementia; if it is in fact an advancing paranoia taking the gun will exacerbate the situation.

    One of the most effective things we do with our Alz residents is play along with them. If they're sitting on a bench in the community and they're waiting for the train, they're waiting for the train. "Where are you going?" "Who are you going to visit?" Whatever it takes to help that resident maintain a state of composure, and fighting them on things certainly does not do that.

    There've been some creative suggestions here; I'd suggest trying one or two before getting too drastic. Who knows, maybe if you put empty brass in the gun he'd check it, think it was loaded, and after a time forget to look for re-loads. That's the point the real bullets can disappear from the house.

    Another unfortunate side-effect: either mom or the family may not be ready financially to get help if needed, and prolonging that need may be more necessary than desired.
    Hopyard likes this.
    I'm in favor of gun control -- I think every citizen should have control of a gun.
    1 Thess. 5:16-18

  8. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigmacque View Post
    Another unfortunate side-effect: either mom or the family may not be ready financially to get help if needed, and prolonging that need may be more necessary than desired.
    And even if there are financial resources, you don't just force someone to do something they won't. We couldn't get my mom to go to a proper facility and there was no way to force that on her short of a court hearing on competency, and a judge's order. Aside from the expense, that stuff happens slowly. It isn't an immediate solution, and she wasn't quite to the point where a judge would necessarily take her rights away---they are reluctant to do that, or so the lawyers told me.

    In the end, as suggested by bigmacque, playing along (and luck) can make things work. The day after
    9/11 my sister told mom (who saw all the stuff on TV but didn't quite understand it) that we had to move her to a safer place. Framed that way, instead of "you are too ill to stay by yourself," she happily went off to a nursing home and never uttered a word of complaint about it.

    She didn't know my name, wasn't sure who my sister was, didn't know what city she lived in, but she sure as heck knew that there were all these firemen and police and people killed and so she better go where it is safe. 9/11 had at least one tiny silver lining.
    If the Union is once severed, the line of separation will grow wider and wider, and the controversies which are now debated and settled in the halls of legislation will then be tried in fields of battle and determined by the sword.
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  9. #24
    VIP Member Array Eagleks's Avatar
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    From reading the input you've received, and considering the pitfalls, it sounds like 2 major options....

    1. disable the gun by removing the firing pin, and put snap caps in it too.
    2. take the gun.

    Good luck with the situation.
    Geezer likes this.
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  10. #25
    Distinguished Member Array claude clay's Avatar
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    it aint easy is putting it mildly

    often times the personality is flip-floped as the alt/dem progresses.

    the book--The 36 Hour Day is very much worth reading.

    it does not sound as if he is at the 5 minute memory yet, so its too soon to just take the gun.
    disable it for now and all work together to prevent him from leaving the house with it. because strangers will not know it is not 'real'.
    Rock and Glock likes this.
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  11. #26
    Senior Member Array JJVP's Avatar
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    As long as doesn't remove the bullets from the gun, these might do the trick.

    $11.17 - RWS / Umarex Blank Ammunition - 22 LR - Blanks - 100 Round Box - (Not for cycling in Semi Auto) - 2252751.

    Snap caps are another possibility, but the problem with snap caps is they are normally colored (red, blue, orange, etc) so he might notice easier that they are fakes.

    http://www.amazon.com/s/?ie=UTF8&key...l_8eietend9z_e

  12. #27
    Senior Member Array DoctorBob's Avatar
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    You cdertainly have a VERY difficult situation with which to deal. And, you got a lot of really good advice and suggestions here. I'm really impressed with the creativity and compassion expressed. Hopyard, as usual, is right ont he mark. In general, if you prioritize your concerns and approach them in serial fashion the problem might seem a little easier. E.g. first priority is to insure that no one gets hurt - that means removing the gun, or disabling the gun, or the ammo. Second, and third, preserve your dad's peace of mind and safety - probably thru substituting another gun (or an airgun with an orange tip and disabled function or empty gas canisters - the orange tip might protect him too) or the ammo; or maybe substituting the OC spray (I wouldn't count on that).

    You have my sympathy and sincere wishes for a quick, safe and satisfactory solution.
    'Guerir quelquefois, soulager souvent, consoler toujours.'

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  13. #28
    Member Array PoLockNLoad's Avatar
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    That is a very tough situation.

    My Grandmother passed early this year. The wonderful woman we had known all our lives slowly disappeared during the last 12-18 months. The paranoia and confusion was... It was an EXTREMELY trying time for our family.

    The best thing you can do is let him have the few things he can hold on to so he can somewhat ground himself.

    If that's his trusty revolver, then find a way to disable it. File or remove the firing pin at the minimum.

    I WOULD NOT just remove the powder and reseat the bullets on a primered shell. CB caps are basically .22LR with just a primer, no powder, and they CAN KILL. I've used them on raccoons when I didn't want to wake the sleeping baby. Blanks can also be deadly.

    If you're still worried after disabling the firing pin, you could pull a few bullets, then soak the empty primered shells in motor oil for a few days, then reseat the bullets after test firing a few cases out of the batch to make sure they're inert. Though that still doesn't mean every case will be inert, the odds are lower.

    You might want to do some research into this. I haven't tried it personally, but it makes sense (though dangerous).

    Help on Rimfire Primer Deactivation - Calguns.net


    John

  14. #29
    Distinguished Member Array GunGeezer's Avatar
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    My brother died a few yrs. ago from Alzheimer's related Dementia. He was a Vet. & a gun collector, shooter & re-loader. During the last 2 yrs. of his life, I was his legal guardian. The very first thing I did was explain to him that I was taking his guns & putting them in my gun safe to prevent anyone from stealing them from him & I would oil them, clean them & keep them for when he got better. He agreed to this and never mentioned them again, in fact, to make sure he didn't have a few hidden away, I asked him if he had any more. He said, "guns, what guns?"

    I realize it's not always that easy, but it's the right thing to do for both of you.

  15. #30
    VIP Member Array xXxplosive's Avatar
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    Alzheimers, dementia and guns don't mix........a deadly cocktail....IMO/
    My mother-in-law has all three....leaving a gun around with her near is just asking....no begging for the inevitable....Gross Neglience In A Courtroom with you as the defendant.

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