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Illinois legislature passes dementia training for healthcare providers

It now heads to Gov. Pritzker’s desk for his signature.
The Illinois legislature Wednesday night passed Senate Bill 677
The Illinois legislature Wednesday night passed Senate Bill 677
Updated: May. 27, 2021 at 11:38 AM CDT
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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WIFR) - The Illinois legislature Wednesday night passed Senate Bill 677, a joint initiative of Lt. Governor Juliana Stratton and the Alzheimer’s Association Illinois Chapter, with the aim of all healthcare providers who serve adults having regular dementia training.

The Alzheimer’s Association Illinois Chapter says the training requirement will help people living with dementia receive the diagnosis they need to plan for the future, access vital resources, and participate in cutting-edge clinical trials.

“The fight to end Alzheimer’s is personal. I was honored to be the caregiver for my mother who lived with this disease and I understand the importance of recognizing the symptoms,” Lt. Governor Juliana Stratton said. “This bill ensures that healthcare professionals are educated on identifying the signs which can lead to a better diagnosis of Alzheimer’s and other related dementias. We are one step closer to Illinois becoming a dementia capable state.”

Senate Bill 677 requires that licensed healthcare professionals who have direct patient interaction with adults age 26 and above dedicate one hour of their existing continuing education requirements to training on the diagnosis, treatment, and care of individuals with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias. The curriculum will include content on how to identify and diagnose Alzheimer’s, effective communication strategies, and management and care planning, according to the Alzheimer’s Association Illinois Chapter.

The bill passed the Illinois Senate on a vote of 56-0-0 and the Illinois House on a vote of 111-0-1. It now heads to Gov. Pritzker’s desk for his signature.

“Senate Bill 677 seeks equity for Illinoisans living in our most vulnerable communities who may not have a primary care doctor but rely on services provided by other healthcare professionals,” Stratton said. “This bill equips all healthcare professionals, including those serving Black, Brown and rural communities, with the knowledge to provide better access to care for the individuals who show signs of the disease.”

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