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Government & Politics

Canton Legislator Proposes Bill to Mandate Dementia Training for Ohio First Responders

photo of an ambulance
TIM RUDELL
/
WKSU
First Responders are concerned with rising dementia rates in Ohio.

In the next five years, more than a quarter of Ohioans will be over 60. And that’s a concern for first responders who are more likely than ever to encounter a person with dementia. The symptoms of that condition can be misunderstood.

State Rep. Thomas West (D-Canton) said the bill 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."

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