Jennifer Rosen

Jennifer Rosen

Vice President, State Affairs

Gloria Brown’s husband Arthur was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in 2015. Two years later, while she was trying to get Arthur back into their home in San Mateo, California, a concerned neighbor called the police. A lack of understanding of the disease led to Arthur being arrested and spending the night in jail. Without awareness and training on how to interact with those living with Alzheimer’s, situations like these can escalate and are unfortunately all too common.

Gloria and Arthur
Gloria and her husband, Arthur

After working to get the arrest removed from Arthur’s record, Gloria took action and worked with the local police chief on a resolution. They developed Project Guardian to help first responders become more aware of individuals with special needs in their communities. California’s lawmakers appropriated $500,000 in the state budget to augment and expand the training program.

“My motive for wanting some action was for the police officers and all other law enforcement to be trained on how to deescalate situations when they encounter something like what my husband went through,” says Gloria.

And thanks to AIM advocates, several state legislatures across the nation are also taking action to prevent similar misunderstandings in their communities.

Beginning on January 1, 2024, law enforcement officers in Arkansas are now required to complete at least two hours of training relating to interacting with individuals living with Alzheimer's or other dementia. This change is thanks to House Bill 1396, which passed unanimously during the 2023 legislative session. 

In Florida, HB 801 was signed into law on April 2, 2024, requiring the Department of Law Enforcement to establish an online continued employment training component on Alzheimer’s and other dementia. The training will include instruction on interacting with individuals living with dementia, recognizing behavioral symptoms, effective communication, employing the use of alternatives to physical restraints, and identifying signs of abuse, neglect, and exploitation. 

“I literally used to sit in my house with my shoes on at six, seven o’clock in the morning. Shoes on, keys in my hand, phone next to me in case he ran out the front door,” said Kip Corriveau, who helps care for his father-in-law who is living with Alzheimer’s. “Having law enforcement have a better understanding of the disease and how to interact with our loved ones is priceless.”

Florida advocates
Florida advocates meet with state legislators to grow support for HB 801 during Rally in Tally

This session, Virginia’s lawmakers enacted HB 933, requiring each fire department and emergency medical service (EMS) agency to develop an Alzheimer’s and dementia training curriculum for its personnel. The curriculum must include instruction on techniques for effective communication, identifying and reporting incidents of abuse, neglect and exploitation, and addressing the behavioral symptoms of Alzheimer's including alternatives to the use of restraints.

The Iowa Department on Aging is implementing a dementia-specific training component as part of the required onboarding training for certain Area Agencies on Aging (AAA) staff. Iowa Options Counselors — professionals who discuss different service and support offerings to aging Iowans — will now be required to complete the Alzheimer’s Association’s Dementia-Specific Training for Adult Protective Services (APS) and Community Workers training module. The training covers the basics of Alzheimer’s and dementia and includes instruction on how to connect with individuals, identify safety risks, and provide support to improve independence. 

In state capitols across the nation, thanks to hardworking advocates and state champions, progress is being made in the fight against Alzheimer’s and other dementia. Learn more about how to get involved with advancing policy priorities in your state.

Jennifer Rosen

Jennifer Rosen

Vice President, State Affairs

Jennifer Rosen is vice president, State Affairs of the Alzheimer’s Association® and the Alzheimer’s Impact Movement (AIM), a separately incorporated advocacy affiliate of the Association.



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