SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – To ensure quality care for the growing number of seniors and individuals living with Alzheimer’s and other dementia diagnoses, state Rep. Natalie Manley, D-Joliet, co-sponsored a bill that would require first responders, such as paramedics and EMTs, to complete at least one hour of training on the diagnosis, treatment and care of individuals with cognitive impairments.
“Alzheimer’s is a debilitating and, to date, remains an incurable disease that impacts many Illinoisans which is why advocating for individuals with Alzheimer’s has been one of my priorities throughout my years in office,” Manley said. “While living with this cruel disease, one may become confused and disoriented, and rendering emergency aid is made more difficult for first responders. This legislation will help immensely, for both first responders and their patients.”
House Bill 4388 would expand upon last year’s amendment to the Department of Professional Regulation Law, which requires cognitive impairment training for health care professionals. With 230,000 Illinoisans currently living with Alzheimer’s and other dementia-related diseases, a number that the Illinois Alzheimer’s Association expects to increase by 13 percent, this bill is part of Manley’s career-long advocacy for individuals with Alzheimer’s.
Because of her longtime commitment to the issue, Manley was named “Legislator of the Year” by the Illinois Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association in 2015.
“Until we have a cure for Alzheimer’s, we will keep finding ways to cope. There’s always more to be done.”
The bill passed through the House on Feb. 23 and is now with the Senate.