2 Ind. FDs seek to mandate dementia awareness training for first responders
The departments hope to make training on identifying patients with dementia a requirement
By News Staff
CARMEL, Ind. — Two fire departments in Indiana are seeking to become the first in the state to make dementia awareness training mandatory.
The Carmel and Noblesville Fire Departments say it’s important to have special guidance on treating patients with dementia and Alzheimer’s, who may have trouble understanding and communicating with first responders, according to WISH.
The departments recently held a training session on identifying people with dementia. Firefighters in the area say they have noticed increased calls involving patients with some form of dementia.
“We really are,” said Carmel Fire Department Public Information Officer Tim Griffin. “And one of the big key factors is the aging population, the Boomers, we have this aging population and the numbers are staggering at the amount of people this will affect or is affecting now.”
The department responded to the growing issue last year with a PSA on noticing the signs of when someone with dementia may be in trouble.
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One of the key components of aiding those with dementia is asking the right questions when information is needed from the patient, Griffin said.
“We can be better with our questions, once we do know a patient has Alzheimer’s or dementia,” he explained. “Their answers may be a little slower to process .”
Natalie Sutton, a member of the Alzheimer’s Association of Greater Indiana, said the training is important, because dementia creates “challenging safety situations” in patients’ daily lives.