The National Council of Certified Dementia Practitioners (www.nccdp.org) provides training in the area of Alzheimer’s and Dementia Care to law enforcement agencies to equip officers with knowledge of how to assist or find people suffering from dementia.

Recently, the entire Sparta (N.J.) Police Department completed the NCCDP’s seven-hour training over a two-day period. Seminar topics included recognizing abuse and neglect in the home, communication, paranoia, hallucinations, aggressive behaviors, catastrophic reactions, wandering, elopement, hoarding, symptoms of dementia, care giver issues, diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, feelings, medications, depression, sexuality and intimacy issues, cultural diversity, nutrition, activities, pain, environment, spirituality, and end-of-life issues. At the end of the seminar each officer received a certificate of completion.

Law enforcement agencies across the country are receiving more and more calls from elderly people in their community who are confused and from care givers calling because people have wandered away from home or long-term care facilities. Oftentimes, officers find themselves unsure of how to respond to a confused elderly person’s questions about searching for a child or past residence or employment.

As the number of dementia cases continues to increase nationwide and worldwide, there is a great need for care givers, health care front line staff, clergy, and law enforcement who are well trained to provide appropriate, competent, and sensitive direct care and support for patients suffering from dementia. The goal of the council is to develop and encourage comprehensive standards of excellence in the profession and delivery of dementia care.

For more information about NCCDP training for law enforcement, visit www.nccdp.org.

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