When it comes to gun violence in America, politicians and citizens often speak of any solution to better mental health screening. However, a new study suggests that little is being done to mitigate the risks of gun ownership and unsafe gun storage among older Americans who have guns at home and who may be very injured themselves. or hurt others.
The study asked people over 65 years of age whether they had a firearm in their own home, how they stored them, and whether they had certain mental health symptoms such as depression, confusion, memory loss, and t mental distress often. It has found similar rates of suicide risk factors and harm to others among families with and without firearms. The storage rates for these firearms, whether locked and unloaded or unlocked and loaded, were also found to be similar to those of non-gun owners. For example, 16 per cent of older people living in gun houses had a depression diagnosis, and about 18 per cent of older people living in gunless homes were diagnosed with depression. More than one in five people living with depression in a family held a gun holding their firearms all without locking and loading. Sixty-two per cent of households surveyed had guns. The data came from Washington State, the only state that collected this information.
"If we were doing a good job in promoting gun safety, would you expect the prevalence of living in a house with a gun or unsafe storage to be lower when someone with a dementia is right or suicidal risk factors, right?" says Ali Rowhani-Rahbar, an epidemiologist at the University of Washington who worked on the study. He says the study found no difference, "he says that many of these guidelines or recommendations have fallen short and that we must be much more active in promoting firearms safety."
The American Suicide Prevention Foundation suggests that firearms should be temporarily removed from people's homes when they are at risk of suicide and, as a “secondary” measure, guns are always stored and unloaded. The weight of evidence suggests – although it does not prove definitively – that access to suicide guns increases, most of the suicide attempts are likely to be royal, so if folks do not have access to the most severe method, t they have a better chance of living and getting help for their mental distress. Gun access could make a huge difference, in particular, senior men: The highest suicide rates in America are at men over 65 years of age, and firearms are the most t common.
Alzheimer's Society it recommends removing guns completely from people's homes with Alzheimer's and other dementias. People with dementias often lose their ability to recognize people and make sound decisions, and to get depression. There is no cure for dialing and they do not get worse over time.
The issue of older Americans and gun ownership last year, when Kaiser Health News was discovered and highlighted, was a great success. More than 100 cases of people with a dice shooting themselves or others to death since 2012, many of them announced their inability to try their hand and it seemed they did not know what they had done. In addition, the statistics do not give the number of people who dementias them who threaten their family, their neighbors, or that helps fire fire with firearms, the notes notes. Rowhani-Rahbar's study and his colleagues expand the statistics available to the Kaiser journalists at that time.
Rowhani-Rahbar, who has a medical degree but does not see patients as part of his job, would like to see doctors talk to their patients and their patients' families about gun access if they show they have a cognitive or depressive impairment. . It supports an approach published last year, in which doctors recommended that people be more restrictive to access firearms as their dementia symptoms deteriorate, and those with moderate dementia do not have access to them. while people with mild symptoms could work with their relatives on planning for the future).
This approach is similar to that recommended by most doctors for people with dementia and driving. But not everyone agrees. Arthur Przebinda, doctor and GP representative for Responsible Gun Ownership, told Kaiser Health News in 2018 that decisions should be made on whether people with dementia can use guns completely for families. He did not think that the analogy worked to drive because driving is not a right of driving in the Constitution. No formal system of dementia and firearms could cause a "plenary system that determines when you can have rights and when you can't," he said.
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