Professionals who manage care for aging adults in their homes assess several factors to ensure the safety and security of the family, paid caregivers, and other professionals working in the home. A recent survey by the Aging Life Care Association® identifies many diagnoses that can compromise safety if there is an unsecured firearm in the home.
TUCSON, Ariz., Dec. 8, 2023 /PRNewswire-PRWeb/ -- The heightened awareness of the responsibilities of gun ownership and gun safety prompted the Aging Life Care Association® to conduct a survey to learn whether their members discuss this topic when conducting initial assessments of clients or potential clients. This survey of Aging Life Care Managers® indicates that unsecured firearms, sometimes combined with a variety of diagnoses, is a safety concern of many professionals.
"As Aging Life Care Professionals, one of our primary roles is ensuring a client's - and those supporting the client - safety and security while encouraging an individual's independence," says Anne Sansevero, current president and member of the Aging Life Care Association and New York City based geriatric nurse practitioner.
In the survey, Aging Life Care Managers were asked if they include questions about firearms when interviewing prospective clients and, if so, how that affected their providing services in the home.
The majority surveyed either ask about a firearm in the house (57.23%) or ask if a client or family member has access to a firearm (32.95%) in their assessments. And if found that a client has a firearm in the house or access to, the following responded:
- 54.34% require that firearms are securely locked up
- 8.09% require that firearms be removed
- 1% decline services if firearms are present
The rest stated that they evaluate safety implications of firearms on a case-by-case basis, dependent on additional factors and circumstances including the client's cognitive status, mental health, living situation, family dynamics discussions, as well as medications and health diagnosis.
When asked what diagnoses or conditions pose the biggest threats to firearm safety, the survey found dementia, mental health illness of any kind, and depression as the leading concerns. Post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) was also among the top concerns.
"As Aging Life Care Managers, we take a holistic, client-centered approach to care management," Sansevero says. "This means while we all most likely have common assessment questions for each client, we take the answers and determine plans of care on an individual case-by-case basis."
The Aging Life Care Association (ALCA) does not take a position on guns or gun ownership. As a professional society, their purpose is to provide education, networking, and professional development to their members.
Bonnie Leko-Shapiro, Aging Life Care Association, 5208818008, [email protected], aginglifecare.org
SOURCE Aging Life Care Association