In the next five years, more than a quarter of Ohioans will be over the age of 60. And that’s a concern for first responders, as they’re more likely than ever to encounter a person with dementia. The symptoms of that condition can be misunderstood. Now there's a new bill to deal with that.
Democratic Rep. Thomas West (D-Canton) says the bill he and fellow Republican Rep. Phil Plummer (R-Dayton) is sponsoring would mandate police officers and other first responders be given two hours of training on dementia.
“The main thing we want our police officers to be able to do is guide that person through the maze of services and get that person the care that they need," West says.
The training would be developed by the Ohio Attorney General’s office. It would focus on effective communication, ways to identify the disease and the local resources available for individuals who have dementia. And it would help first responders identify signs of abuse and neglect.