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Miami Valley Alzheimer's Association Training First Responders To Interact With Elderly Patients

People holding purple and yellow paper flowers in a plaza adjacent to the baseball stadium in downtown Dayton during an Alzheimer's Association event in 2019.
Alzheimer's Association: Miami Valley Chapter
Alzheimer's Association: Miami Valley Chapter event in 2019.

According to the Alzheimer's Association of Ohio, nearly a quarter-million people aged 65 and older are living with Alzheimer’s disease here in the state. That number is expected to increase 15 to 20 percent in the next five years.

Legislation has been introduced in the Ohio House that would require enhanced dementia training for first responders. While the vote on House Bill 23 is pending, there has been an increase in the number of emergency calls in Ohio involving older adults with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease.

So, the Alzheimer’s Association Miami Valley Chapter is moving ahead with its plan to train fire, EMS, and police crews.

The Alzheimer association’s State Public Policy Director is Trey Addison. He says the increasing number of interactions between first responders and individuals with dementia make the training imperative.

“The beauty of the training that will take place for our first responders in Ohio is really how do you effectively communicate to get information out of that individual who may be wandering or who may have dementia,” he says.

National stats say six in 10 individuals with dementia will wander.

And while HB 23 works its way through the legislature, Addison says communities throughout Ohio can be proactive, and contact the Alzheimer's Association about training.

Jerry began volunteering at WYSO in 1991 and hosting Sunday night's Alpha Rhythms in 1992. He joined the YSO staff in 2007 as Morning Edition Host, then All Things Considered. He's hosted Sunday morning's WYSO Weekend since 2008 and produced several radio dramas and specials . In 2009 Jerry received the Best Feature award from Public Radio News Directors Inc., and was named the 2023 winner of the Ohio Associated Press Media Editors Best Anchor/News Host award. His current, heart-felt projects include the occasional series Bulletin Board Diaries, which focuses on local, old-school advertisers and small business owners. He has also returned as the co-host Alpha Rhythms.