IACP’s Alzheimer’s Initiatives Success Stories – Part I

With more than 5.4 million Americans currently living with Alzheimer’s disease and approximately 500,000 new cases emerging each year, projections show that there will be as many as 16 million Americans that will have Alzheimer’s disease by 2050. IACP’s Alzheimer’s Initiatives program is committed to helping first responders improve their knowledge and skills to safeguard this special population.

The IACP Alzheimer’s Initiatives no-cost training program, Responding to Alzheimer’s Disease: Techniques for Law Enforcement and First Responders, provides public safety administrators, law enforcement officers, supervisors and executives, firefighters, EMS, EMT, and others from the first responder community with the most current Alzheimer’s disease and dementia training available. After attending a full day training, participants have a better understanding of Alzheimer’s disease, learn techniques to effectively question and interview individuals with Alzheimer’s disease, and establish protocols for search and rescue specific to this growing population.

There are many examples of how the Alzheimer’s Initiatives training positively impacted participants.

 Lieutenant Michael Magiera- Dallas Police Department, Dallas, TX

“I am currently assigned to the auto pound as the unit commander, so my contact with the public is limited.  I am also a firefighter for an all volunteer department.  Since the training, we have run into a number of elderly patients with Alzheimer’s and since I learned additional information about the disease, it has helped tremendously when dealing with them.  For example, we had two repeat callers that were elderly men with Alzheimer’s.  Since I learned their memory from their youth is retained and more current events are lost, I asked each what branch of the military they are in.  They told me and told me their rank.  I called them by their military rank from WWII and Korea and was able to get them to comply with our instructions by ordering them as if I was their unit commander.  It worked surprisingly well each time and we got them on the cot and in the ambulance with no problems.  We had difficulty with both men prior to my class attendance because they didn’t know who we were and didn’t want to go to the hospital, which resulted in having to force them onto the cot.  I am very glad I attended the training and just that one small thing (and I learned much more in the class) has allowed for easier contact and control with them.”

If you would like to find out more information about the Alzheimer’s Initiatives training program or would like to sign up for a training session in your area, please visit www.theiacp.org/Alzheimers or contact us at Alzheimers@theiacp.org.

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