This flawed article also makes some very good points, so i’m copying a good portion of it below.
[Just note that gun ownership is NOT declining as the article states (see here, here, and here).]
While discussions about guns and gun ownership are common political talk, gun ownership and possession are almost never considered when discussing dementia. However, research has shown that since 2012, more than 100 gun-related deaths have occurred when a person with dementia used firearms within their home and, as the number of people with dementia in the United States will increase, the number of injuries or deaths is likely to increase.
Though gun ownership is generally on the decline in the U.S., ownership is still common and is more common among older adult men than the rest of the population in general. Gun ownership is higher in rural areas than in urban ones. Thus, while not every household in America has a gun, there are many which do.
In cases discussed above, he violence occurred during an episode of confusion, paranoia, delusion or aggression. In addition to these episodes, which are often related to the cognitive impairment, suicide isn’t uncommon among older adults, especially those suffering from a chronic illness. While not all individuals living with dementia will demonstrate aggression, delusion or depression, it’s impossible to predict who will. Therefore, while planning for the future by reviewing and updating legal documents and financial plans, practical considerations should be made as well.
The conversation about gun ownership and dementia may arise in any setting and can be initiated by a professional such as an elder law attorney or financial advisor. Many clients are hesitant to reveal gun ownership and those who do often don’t want to reveal locations, nor do they want to voluntarily give up possession of their firearms. When the discussion focuses on “taking things away” for an individual with a diagnosis of dementia, this may feel like additional loss of control and can be extremely unpleasant. Instead, approach the conversation as one of safety. Unfortunately, dementia can often interfere with an individual’s reasoning and decision-making skills, and the individual may lack insight into the potential problem. However, when the discussion is presented as one of safety for themselves and loved ones, the conversation feels like less of an intrusion.
Source: Guns and Dementia
The article goes on to discuss removal of guns from the home, based on some advice in an Alzheimer’s Association memo here. That memo should not be followed blindly — for example, look at this suggestion:
If there is no consent to remove the weapons, removal may need to be done against the person’s wishes and should be done while he or she is out of the house. Take care to also remove reminders of the weapons, including cases, ammunition, racks and holsters.
Get some legal advice before you start taking guns without consent, or you may end up a felon!
You can probably see that it is better to handle these issues while you still have capacity. Gun owners do tend to bristle when the subject is brought up (“From my cold, dead hands!”) but isn’t it better to address this in your power of attorney, decide who will make the decision and how it will be made, and in what manner will the guns be taken and stored, and will you still be allowed some access when lucid under strict supervision (for example, dry practice)?
It can be tough to admit you are no longer safe with guns. If you have a family member reaching this point, take him or her to our free training! We have no problem pointing out safety issues as safety is paramount. Chances are, your family member will come to accept the need for some planning on this issue.