The first problem that most families notice with an elderly loved one is usually that the elder is experiencing trouble driving an automobile. It may be that he or she got lost while driving, drove the wrong way down the street, or was stopped by the police for other violations. When the family starts noticing these first signs of a problem, the family should take the elder to his or her health care provider for an examination and ask the doctor to consider whether it is advisable to remove guns, knives, weapons, or other dangerous items from the home.
A recent news report from Arkansas told the tragic story of a man whose granddaughter was trying to remove him from a house in order to move him to a new place to live when the man locked himself into his room threatening to shoot anyone who opened the door. She had no choice but to call the local police for help. Unfortunately, the confrontation with the police did not end well when the 107 year old man began shooting at the police and was ultimately killed in the shoot-out. Therefore, in order to prevent the possibility of such a deadly encounter, ask the doctor at the earliest opportunity if the family should remove guns, knives, weapons, or other dangerous items from the home of your elderly loved one.
Kathy Brown van Zutphen is an attorney licensed to practice law in Alabama and Mississippi. She focuses on the “elder law” areas of trusts, estates, and conservatorships. Additionally, she litigates lawsuits and represents small business owners as part of her legal practice. You can also reach her at her office: (228) 357-5227.