Dementia and other cognitive impairments are some of the most common conditions affecting residents of long-term care facility. To help ensure these residents are getting the best possible care, lawmakers in Colorado recently passed a law mandating dementia-specific training for caregivers in assisted living communities and some other long-term care settings.
The law, which takes effect January 1, 2024, requires a minimum amount of dementia-specific training for direct care staff in assisted living facilities, nursing homes, and adult day centers. Some facilities already conduct this type of training voluntarily, while others, such as facilities with memory care units, are already obligated to train staff accordingly.
The main goals of the law are to fill in the dementia training already required for direct care staff in long-term care settings and to reassure residents moving to a different care setting—as well as their families—that staff members have at least the minimum level of training.
Other states have passed similar measures to mandate dementia training in the healthcare field. In Illinois, a recent law requires emergency medical workers and paramedics to receive an hour of training regarding recognizing symptoms, caring for, treating, and communicating with people who have Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia.
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