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Bill Calls For Dementia Training For Ohio First Responders

elderly man holding hands

In the next five years, more than a quarter of Ohioans will be over the age of 60. That’s a concern for first responders, as they’re more likely than ever to encounter a person with dementia.

The symptoms of dementia can often be misunderstood. Now there's a new bill to deal with that. 

State Rep. Thomas West (D-Canton) says he's sponsoring a bill with fellow Rep. Phil Plummer (R-Dayton) that 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.

The training would also help first responders identify signs of abuse and neglect.

Jo Ingles is a professional journalist who covers politics and Ohio government for the Ohio Public Radio and Television for the Ohio Public Radio and Television Statehouse News Bureau. She reports on issues of importance to Ohioans including education, legislation, politics, and life and death issues such as capital punishment.