Empower First Responders with Dementia Training
First responders are critical to the health and safety of people 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 legislators to support forthcoming legislation in West Virginia that will require dedicated dementia-specific training for emergency medical services workers to educate these professionals on understanding specific behavior symptoms, effective communication strategies, protocols for contacting caregivers and available local resources.
West Virginia State Plan Overview
In 2011, the West Virginia legislature directed and funded the Joint Committee on Government and Finance to study the needs, challenges, and issues facing West Virginians living with Alzheimer's disease and their families through the passage of Senate Concurrent Resolution 38. Three work groups spearheaded development of policy and program recommendations. The work groups included health care providers, families impacted by Alzheimer's, public health officials, state legislators, and researchers as well as representatives from local businesses, long-term care providers, state agencies, and community organizations. In December 2011, the state Alzheimer's plan, Make a Plan for Alzheimer's in West Virginia was published.
West Virginia State Advocacy Day
February 16, 2022
West Virginia's Alzheimer’s advocates from across the state are encouraged to join us on Wednesday, February 16, 2022 to share their stories with elected officials in support of our legislation to strengthen dementia training standards for first responders. Advocates will meet with West Virginia Senators and Delegates to urge their support for this critical legislation to protect people living with Alzheimer's and other dementia and to better equip first responders when they encounter individuals living with dementia. First time advocates are encouraged to join! We will be providing training sessions in the days leading up to our State Advocacy Day so that you will be prepared and ready to conduct meetings with your legislators.