Oct 10, 2010

Barbaric Treatment of Alzheimer's Patient Joe McLeod

I asked myself, what is wrong with us? I felt variously angry, sad, and frustrated. I wondered to myself, how is Johns' wife Rose feeling?...
By Bob DeMarco
Alzheimer's Reading Room

Just when you think people are coming to a clearer understanding of Alzheimer's disease something like this happens.

Joe McLeod, 69, was arrested on Sept. 2 for assault after he became confused and pushed his wife down and injured her. At the time John was disoriented and didn't recognize her.

Rose McLeod said her husband did not recognize her and she was showing him a family photo to jog his memory when the incident occurred. She required eight stitches to her chest when she fell against the corner of the picture frame.
After the police arrived on the scene and assessed the situation, they took John first to the Hospital; and then, to jail after the hospital gave him a medical clearance.

And there John stayed for more than a month.

McLeods' wife said that when she called police, they led her to believe she "didn't have a choice" but to press charges. Later as he was languishing away in the police remand center the wife said she didn't want to press charges and just wanted him out of the remand center.

John spent more than a month in the police remand center and he was not granted bail. As John sat in jail no one concluded he would be better off in some kind of senior or Alzheimer's care facility.

Only after the news media got involved and the story became public did something start to happen.

Finally on Friday, October 8, John was granted bail on the condition that he be transfered to a "care home" selected by the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority and agreed to by his family.

For more than a month, John McLeod was confined to the same downtown facility where accused criminals await trial. He remained confused and could not understand what was happening to him. He remanded clearly confused throughout this nightmare of a process.

Please note. John's family had been dealing with Johns' Alzheimer's for over four years. The simple fact that he was suffering from dementia was not a secret.

I asked myself, what is wrong with us? I felt variously angry, sad, and frustrated. I wondered to myself, how is Johns' wife Rose feeling? How is the family feeling?

I wondered, why did it take the media and an awareness by the public to make something happen to get this situation resolved?

Why didn't it happen sooner? What about the personnel at the Hospital? No police that specialize in situations like this one? Anybody home?

Update: John is out.

Your comments and reactions are welcome in the comments section below.
Bob DeMarco is the Founder of the Alzheimer's Reading Room and an Alzheimer's caregiver. Bob has written more than 4,500 articles with more than 335,100 links on the Internet. Bob resides in Delray Beach, FL.
Original content Bob DeMarco, the Alzheimer's Reading Room