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Dementia training could be required for health care professionals in Illinois

Lt. Gov. Juliana Stratton says Illinois needs to look at the disease through an equitable lens
Published: Jun. 9, 2021 at 6:49 PM CDT|Updated: Jun. 9, 2021 at 6:50 PM CDT
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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) - Illinois lawmakers passed a bill that would require health care professionals to complete training courses to educate them on how to treat Illinois residents who suffer from Alzheimer’s disease.

Lt. Gov. Juliana Stratton (D-Chicago) helped draft Senate Bill 677 using her personal experience after her mother passed away from Alzheimer’s. Stratton said requiring this kind of training could assist care givers with the knowledge to recognize the signs and symptoms of dementia. She said Illinoisans need this training for their loved ones.

“We wish that someone might have just noticed the signs and noticed them earlier so that we could start getting our loved ones the care that they needed and deserved,” Stratton said.

Since her mother’s passing she has started the ‘Through our Eyes’ campaign which she says helps Illinois residents who are struggling from the disease. Stratton said that Illinois needs to look at the disease through an equitable lens and serve all communities.

“Every community regardless of their zip code, regardless of their color, regardless of background, has the resources that can make sure that they can make the best decisions because as we’ve seen through COVID, health inequities do exist and this is one of the ways that we can make sure that people get the help that they need,” Stratton said.

This training would be a one-hour annual training certificate for health care professionals and would be implemented at all Illinois nursing homes.

If Gov. Pritzker signs the bill into law, these training courses would be required starting as soon as January 2023.

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