Police actions and training have been the focus for some time now, but our elders need to be included when there are conversations about reform. Specifically, better training when it comes to identifying dementia and working with those that struggle with the insidious disease would necessarily lead to less frightful and concerning interactions.
In Colorado, a slight 73-year-old woman of 80 pounds was recently wrestled to the ground after leaving Walmart without paying for $13.88 in merchandise. The police video footage shows that there were no efforts to talk with the demented woman to assess her awareness or understanding of the situation, before her arms were wrenched behind her and she had a male police officer on top of her, all while she was crying, “I’m trying to go home.” Civil claims and criminal investigations are on-going.
It is heart-breaking, and a reminder to us all to slow down, and use patience and calmness when interacting with people with dementia. In fact, let’s just try use that standard in ALL of our interactions with ALL of our fellow humans.