New recruits would get at least two hours of instruction on how to interact with dementia patients in peace officer training school, under a bipartisan, newly introduced Ohio House bill, reports

House Bill 441 comes as Ohio is on the brink of a demographic shift. Seniors are expected to outnumber those 18 and younger, according to the Alzheimer’s Association in Ohio.

Sponsored by Reps. Phil Plummer, a Dayton Republican who served as Montgomery County sheriff, and Thomas West, a Canton Democrat who worked for 25 years in mental health, HB 441 would require police to learn the following:

    How to identify people with dementia, including its psychiatric and behavioral symptoms

    Techniques for respectful and effective communication with dementia patients and their caregivers

    Techniques for addressing behavioral symptoms of dementia, including alternatives to physical restraint

    Identifying and reporting incidents of abuse, neglect and exploitation to the Ohio Attorney General’s office.

    Protocols for contacting caregivers when a person is wandering or in an emergency or crisis situation

    Local resources for individuals with dementia, and local and national organizations that assist police with locating missing and wandering people with dementia.