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I Have Alzheimer’s or Another Dementia
Shook me to the core
I read about it but I couldn't watch it. What's wrong with those people?
I can well understand your concern. The woman had shop lifted merchandise; a little over $13 dollars worth from the store. She was described when the call was made to the polce department. The responding officers saw her walking down the side of an empty road. She looks younger than her age and no one knew she had dementia. No excuse. She could not process what was happening, was not able to follow directions and could not communicate effectively - officers should have had a clue that there was something wrong - if not knowing dementia; perhaps a mental health issue.
The physical force was beyond inappropriate. The handling of it all was inappropropriate. Two of the officers involved in the arrest/case were female. That was surprising to me.
How I wish the woman with dementia had been wearing a medical ID tag stating she had dementia; that would have perhaps alerted the handling officers. Still; no excuse.
That was all so inappropriate on so many levels.. Those three officers involved in the arrest are now without jobs; multiple state and federal agencies are investigating; amongst them, the FBI. Prosecution of some of the officers will in all probability happen and the Loveland Police Department will also be under severe scrutiny. The family is already bringing a substantial lawsuit against the officers and the department and they will succeed in their case.
Training re dementia is not routinely done on police departments and when it is, it is often done very poorly and often leaves out how to communicate, etc. This needs to change and I so wish to see this marketed by the Assn. to all departments or to coordinate this educational outreach coupled with another organization that can do it well. A film is not good enough by itself; it also needs live educators. In fact, it should be a legal requirement to have this as part of all training and updated at intervals with continuing education.
NOTE: My husband is a retired police officer with many years as a patrol officer, training officer and years as a detective, and our youngest son is a police officer; they were both disgusted by what happened. They belong/belonged to a large department that has P.O.S.T. training mandates, (Police Officer Standards and Training), and ongoing training that is mandatory. Not all departments do this; many departments are grossly substandard in not only screening those they hire, but also in substandard training. On husband/son's department, choke holds, neck and chest compression is forbidden by written policy and training and has been for a very long time. In fact, if a suspect says they cannot breathe or has any other issue, the policy is to have this handled medically with the suspect going to the hospital for evaluation and need for treatment. Arrest can always ensue after the suspect is evaluated and treated or released from the ER.
There are over 900,000 sworn police officers in the United States. When bad officers conduct themselves in ways that we have seen on the news; all officers, this includes the very good ones, are tarred with the same brush even though they have not and never would conduct themselves in such ways and they must carry that burden. It is very hard.
Human beings are human beings and there will always be the bad actors.. That is true in any profession. We see this in clergy from multiple denominations; by doctors and other healthcare providers; from financial advisors; teachers; coaches; pundits, etc.
Please do not think this will happen to you, but I sure do understand your fear. To help yourself, decide with family when it is best to get a medical ID tag or bracelet outlining the diagnosis of dementia along with your identifying information. Call the local police department and have your name put in their computer as living at such and such an address along with the information that you have dementia and the name(s) of family members who can be contacted in case of emergency or need. If a call for assistance is made to your home, etc., when the call goes out to send a police unit, this will all show up on their computers at the station and also in the police car. If a person gets lost or needs help, this information is very helpful in that regard too.
Little story about a police officer; (my son) and a person with dementia:
Son and another officer were in a patrol car returning from a training class. They were driving down a street in a residential neighhborhood. Son saw an elderly man walking down the sidewalk with a walker, the man was naked from the waist down.
The police car stopped at the side of the road, son got out of the car; realizing there was a dementia or mental health issue at hand, he approached the half naked elderly man and said, "It is really a nice day to take a walk; can I walk with you?" The man nodded and muttered his okay. Son walked slowly with him while the car drove slowly a bit behind them.
Son had got a blanket out of the police car, but the man would not permit it to be put around him. Man was offered to have a "ride back home," but the man would not permit that. Okay. Son got man turned around going back the way he had come from.
Son asked the man his name, but his speech was fairly garbled. Son and partner used the computer putting in all names that sounded a bit like the man was muttering, but nothing came up. There were no calls about a missing Loved One.
So; onward the slow walk went. Finally; about two blocks away, son found the elderly man's undershorts on the sidewalk and managed to get them back on the man. It was getting close to time to have to call EMTs to have the man assessed and taken to a place of safety and have him medically checked; that would have been an ER.
Son went about another block with the fellow; son, looking down the block, saw a middle agaed woman walking swiftly looking harried. He managed to call out to her and it was the man's wife. He had got outside while she had been in another part of the house. All ended well and son was able to inform the woman about safety locks, etc. for the house for the needs they had. She was also given the number of the station to call to have her husband's information put into the computer for his address and for contact with someone who would discuss the "safe return" program with her and also for contact with someone who could give more information about safety devices for the home.
I send warmest thoughts your way and so hope that the fear of police officers will soon fade. You can even drop by the local police station to discuss this concern with the captain or other supervisory officer if you make a call for an appointment. They will gladly discuss this with you and perhaps be able to put you more at ease.
Thanks, Jo. I've always had a good relationship with the police. Dated one, worked with several, even taught basic law to a group of officers earning their Associate Degree. I don't know whether there are more bad officers out there than there were 10-15 years ago but it sure seems like it.
Your post reminded me that my jurisdiction has mobile crisis teams consisting of specially trained police officers paired with licensed mental health professionals. However, I spend most of my time in an adjacent jurisdiction. : (
LindaBREW, Hello and welcome! I'm sorry no one replied to your post. Start a thread of your own and more people will see it. You will learn a lot of helpful information. Iris is a well informed lady and she is kind too. Iris is a blessing and an inspiration to many of us here.
Once again, welcome!
Let me add my welcome also, Linda. I did not see your post. Please feel free to start your own thread. Click on the green "Add Topic" tab at the top of the main page. Just jump in and post whatever you feel like saying.
It can be extremely hard to communicate with family. I still do not talk to my family about my memory loss. I have a diagnosis of cognitive impairment not otherwise specified. I do not have Alzheimer's Disease.
This is a hard journey. We need help and support to make each day. We get help and support from our fellow members, both patients and caregivers. They know what we are talking about.