Dementia patient tells police he murdered his caregiver wife, 80
An elderly dementia patient called the Enschede police on Wednesday to confess to killing his 80-year-old wife, Dinie Elsink, who was caring for him at home, according to local newspaper Tubantia. The foundation for informal care SIZ Twente is deeply concerned by the incident, but not terribly surprised. Informal caregivers are often overwhelmed with the responsibilities involved in caring for a loved one and often sound the alarm too late, spokesperson Marcel Garritsen said to the newspaper. "Many caregivers tend to hold regular help out. But caring for people with dementia is very difficult. Sooner or later the end up in a fix. It is a growing problem", he said, adding that the foundation anticipates that the number of domestic violence cases will only increase due to the aging population and people living longer at home. One in five people who care for a relative with dementia have to deal with aggressive behavior on a weekly basis, according to a study by the Netherlands Alzheimer Foundation. Nearly 10 percent even deal with aggression on a daily basis. The Foundation recommends that informal caregivers caring for dementia patients always be assisted by a specialized "case manager", who can give advice on how to avoid aggression and can intervene when necessary. Earlier this week a survey by the Social and Cultural Planning office revealed that a third of all Dutch adults currently provide informal care to a relative or friend. One in three of the carers admitted to sometimes losing their patience.