The 21st Show

New Illinois law requires dementia training for EMTs

Pictured above is the Emergency Room sign at OSF Hospital in Urbana.

Pictured above is the Emergency Room sign at OSF Hospital in Urbana. Reginald Hardwick/Illinois Newsroom

More than 5.7 million Americans in the United States have dementia, and only about half of them have received a formal diagnosis. Along with the emotional difficulties that come with memory loss, living with dementia, especially undiagnosed, can present other risks. It can make it easier for a person to get lost while driving, they may have trouble communicating, or planning out tasks. They may also be more prone to accidents or falling. 

A bill passed this month in Illinois will require training Emergency Medical Technicians and paramedics to look out for these signs of dementia. It’s the first training requirement of its kind in the country. The 21st was joined by the leader of the Alzheimer's Association of Illinois, one of the bill's sponsors, and someone whose mother has been diagnosed with dementia.


Delia Jervier

Executive Director, Alzheimer’s Association Illinois

Jakara Hubbard 

Mother has vascular dementia

State Representative Margaret Croke 

House Sponsor, HB4388 | (D, District 12)

Prepared for web by Owen Henderson

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