Law enforcement making more welfare checks on dementia, Alzheimer’s patients

Caring for parents or loved ones with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease can be difficult. According to Alzheimer.org, it’s the sixth leading cause of death in Kentucky. Members of local law enforcement say, with these kinds of cases, they’re getting involved more than ever.

Law enforcement officers say they’re getting involved because concerned family, friends, and neighbors are asking them to check on their loved ones. McCracken County Sheriff Jon Hayden said his department is checking on at least two or three people a week. While Hayden doesn’t have an exact reason for why the calls keep coming in, he says they’re there to help.

“We certainly don’t want to discourage anyone from contacting us," Hayden says. "That’s what we do, and we’re glad to do it.”

Families who have been through the worst with the disease say dementia can take on many forms. Mike Tankersley’s wife, Margaret, died of Alzheimer’s earlier this year. He says every person is different, which means every case is different. So, he encourages people to call for help when the disease presents trouble.

"Get help, whether that be with a good counseling group or friends, neighbors,” Tankersley says.

Tankersley also recommends to be proactive when your loved one is diagnosed, and get your loved one’s affairs in order as soon as possible.

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