Police fired Tasers at a terrified Alzheimer’s sufferer in a troubling incident that reopens the debate on the controversial weapon.Boooo! Hisss! Nasty, brutal police! But wait…
Mr Russell, who has a daughter from a previous marriage and married Diane in September 2010, began being forgetful about three years ago. He went to hospital for a scan and Alzheimer’s disease was diagnosed.
The farm worker was forced to retire and over recent months his condition became worse. Mrs Russell said he began ‘pushing’ her and doctors decided to section him under the Mental Health Act to review his treatment.And that’s where it all went wrong…
On March 6, two nurses and a psychiatrist visited the couple’s home and Mr Russell became agitated at hearing talk of him going to hospital. Mrs Russell said he began swearing and ‘slamming cupboards’.
She suggested he be given sweets and his favourite Noddy toy to calm him and then be driven to hospital by a neighbour. But this was rejected and the medical staff were told to go outside because they were upsetting Mr Russell.Another case of the so-called ‘caring profession’ not wanting to listen to those who live with the patient 24/7/365 and might be better placed to know what would work?
Several hours later, a doctor, hospital consultant and social worker arrived and discussed calling an ambulance. Mr Russell became agitated again.
The doctors left and police arrived to handle the hospital transfer.So, having handed this difficult and traumatic process over lock, stock and barrel to the police, they simply washed their hands of all responsibility.
And the police were left to try to effect a removal the only way they can. With force.
After he was tasered, a policewoman came into the kitchen crying and told Mrs Russell: ‘We didn’t want to do this, but we had no option.’
Mrs Russell said: ‘He was fighting them off because he didn’t want to go to hospital. He was petrified and scared. He was shouting “get off” as they carried him.
I was going mental and I remember saying “it’s not him, it’s the Alzheimer’s” .That’s very true, but they can’t Taser or restrain just the Alzheimer’s while leaving your husband alone, can they?
Mental health nurses have restraint options, too, for sectioned patients. Why didn’t they consider it? Why pass it on to the overburdened police service?
‘He was not armed and wasn’t about to kill himself, they should not have tasered him.’They didn’t want to, clearly! They have no choice, if they were to prevent him hurting himself, or further injuring them:
Two police officers are believed to have suffered minor injuries in the incident.And the oh-so-caring NHS staff? What did they suffer?
They didn’t even see fit to issue a statement supporting the police, who had to step in when they abdicated their responsibility…
Sarah Moody from the Alzheimer’s Society said: ‘This unfortunate incident illustrates a lack of understanding in society of dementia and the best way to support and help people who are affected by this devastating condition.’It does indeed. But not in the people this ‘Mail’ article seems to be trying to indicate, though…