Ensure First Responders Can Protect Utahns With Dementia
Law enforcement officers and first responders are critical to the health and safety of Utahns living with Alzheimer’s. They frequently interact with individuals who have dementia in a variety of settings and are among the first to observe instances of abuse and neglect. Without proper training on how to recognize the signs of dementia and how to effectively communicate with people with dementia, situations may escalate quickly with potentially dangerous consequences. The Alzheimer’s Association is calling on policymakers to support efforts in Utah to provide dementia training to first responders to educate these professionals on understanding specific behavior symptoms, effective communication strategies, protocols for contacting caregivers and available local resources.
Empower Adult Protective Services Workers with Dementia-Training
Adult Protective Services (APS) workers are on the front lines of protecting older adults from exploitation and harm. Many of the adults they are charged to protect are living with Alzheimer’s or dementia, and it is critical that these workers have the training to understand how to best serve this population. That’s why the Alzheimer’s Association is advocating for APS workers to be trained regarding dementia, communication with individuals, and spotting cases of abuse, neglect or financial exploitation.
Utah State Plan Overview
In March 2011, Utah legislature Senate Bill 48 establishing the Utah State Plan Task Force within the Utah Division of Aging and Adult Services. Tasked with assessing the current and future impact of Alzheimer's disease and related dementias within the state, the Task Force included representatives from state agencies, homecare providers, health plans, and elder law, as well as state legislators, an individual living with the disease, caregivers, and the lieutenant governor. Collecting public feedback, the Task Force drafted Utah's State Plan for Alzheimer's Disease and Related Dementias: Action Plan for 2012-2017, published in January 2012. In early 2018, Utah updated their plan, releasing Utah's State Plan for Alzheimer's Disease and Related Dementias, 2018 to 2022.
Utah State Advocacy Day
February 17, 2021
Join fellow Alzheimer’s advocates for an exciting week of virtual advocacy urging Utah’s state lawmakers to support people with dementia and their families. Over the course of three days, we will have a series of informative and engaging virtual events with state government leaders to highlight the urgent need for dementia training for first responders and adult protective services workers. We will host a series of events February 15-17, 2021 that will mix storytelling, advocacy training and direct engagement with your state government representatives. Join us!