COLUMBUS, Ohio (WDTN) – State Reps. Phil Plummer (R-Dayton) and Thomas West (D-Canton) have unveiled a bill aimed at improving care requirements given to dementia patients from peace officers and medical service personnel.
The legislation would require training on how to identify and interact with those suffering from the disease.
“Those who are suffering with dementia deserve to have trained professionals looking out for them and working with them at all times,” said Plummer.
Training would consist of at least two hours of instruction with satisfactory completion of basic training at an approved facility.
The training would focus on seven parts:
- Identifying individuals with dementia, including psychiatric and behavioral symptoms of dementia
- Respectful and effective communication techniques for communicating with individuals with dementia and their caregivers
- Techniques for addressing the behavioral symptoms of dementia, including alternatives to physical restraint
- Identifying and reporting incidents of abuse, neglect, and exploitation of individuals with dementia to the office of attorney general
- Protocols for contacting caregivers when an individual with dementia is found wandering or during an emergency or crisis situation
- Local resources available for individuals with dementia
- Local and national organizations that assist peace officers with locating missing and wandering individuals with dementia and returning them to their caregivers
The Alzheimer’s Association in Dayton applauds the bill. They say there are more than 200,000 people in Ohio living with Alzheimer’s or dementia. As the state’s population continues to age, that number is expected to rise.
“How do we notify the care giver, how do we make sure we’re handling that individual person with respect and dignity and making sure they get home safely?” asked Trey Addison, director of state public policy for the organization.
He said it’s their job as the Alzheimer’s Association to ensure people with alzheimer’s or dementia are well taken care of into the future.
“What are we doing to make sure people are taken care of, they’re able to age in dignity and we’re going out every day to help them?” Addison said.
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