Annapolis, MD (July 13, 2017) - This week, the Anne Arundel County Department of Aging and Disabilities and the Anne Arundel County Police Department announced the successful conclusion of the 2017 in-service dementia awareness training of 691 members of the force. This collaboration was recognized at an event at the Department of Aging and Disabilities. During the event, training staff members were presented police citations in recognition of their hard work and dedication.
Every 66 seconds, someone in the United States develops the disease. There are currently more than 5 million Americans living with the disease. By 2050, this could increase to more than 16 million.
The Department of Aging and Disabilities provided the training Communicating Through Behaviors with the Virtual Dementia Tour to the Anne Arundel County Police Department. This is a scientifically proven method of building a greater understanding of dementia through the use of patented sensory tools and instruction. This is an up-close, hands-on experience that provides critical insight to those caring for dementia. This tour is an eye-opening experience that proves how difficult the disease can be for the patients and caregivers alike.
"This is yet another example of how our county agencies are collaborating toimprove service to the public while enhancing public safety," said County Executive Steve Schuh.
Director of the Anne Arundel County Department of Aging and Disabilities, Pamela Jordan, stated, ""It is so important that we support our first responders to give them the tools they need to understand this disease. The likelihood that first responders will encounter this in field is very high."
When asked what he learned from the experience, Anne Arundel County Police Chief Timothy Altomare said, "This training illustrates the stark reality that more citizens in Anne Arundel County have some sort of this disease than we may realize. I have learned just how frustrated and disconnected these members of our community feel when facing daily activities most of us take for granted."
Anne Arundel County Police Deputy Chief William Krampf stated, "The sensitivity to situations in the homes of older adults with dementia will be more prominent after taking this tour. We've always been on the lookout as police officers, but now we know what signs to look for."
Mary Chaput, National Family Caregiver Support Program Director for the Department of Aging and Disabilities mentioned, "The collaboration between our county agencies shows the tremendous effort we strive for on a daily basis to keep our residents safe and informed. The dedication of the Anne Arundel County Police Department shows the sensitivity of the police officers to recognize the needs of our County's most vulnerable adults and their caregivers."
More than 15 million Americans provide unpaid care for people with Alzheimer's or dementia. Care for this disease costs the nation approximately $259 billion per year. Anne Arundel County Police Officers were trained that they will likely be in contact with an individuals caregiver to establish effective communication regarding the individual with Alzheimer's or dementia.
Deputy Chief William Krampf and Director of Media Relations, Lieutenant Ryan Frashure were in attendance to present Police Citations to all twelve trainers from the Department of Aging and Disabilities. The trainers from the Department of Aging and Disabilities were: Mary Chaput, Dee Scharff, Jennifer Sloan, Jennifer Jackson, Carol Clemmens, Becky Batta, Kris Doherty, Christopher Werth, Laura Perry-Brown, Mary Ann Howell, Wendy Harris, and Tonya Taylor.
For information call the Anne Arundel County Department of Aging and Disabilities at or go online to . TTY users, please call via Maryland Relay
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