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Bertino-Tarrant passes legislation to modernize methods for locating individuals with Alzheimer’s

Bertino-Tarrant passes legislatioto modernize methods for locating individuals with Alzherimer's

SPRINGFIELD - Last year, in Georgia, an elderly man suffering from Alzheimer’s slipped away from his home in the middle of the night and wandered into a nearby neighborhood in the cold only to be shot dead when mistaken for an intruder.

And this year in Texas, an elderly man suffering from Alzheimer’s wandered away from his family’s home in the middle of the night in the midst of freezing temperatures. He was later found dead.

These are the tragic stories state Senator Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant (D-Shorewood) worked to prevent through legislation she helped pass out of the Illinois Senate this year. Her plan, which was signed into law today, allows law enforcement, Department on Aging and local law enforcement agencies to create a statewide awareness program to help locate individuals with Alzheimer’s and other cognitive diseases who go missing.

“Agencies will now have the best tools possible to locate individuals with Alzheimer’s,” said Bertino-Tarrant. “We have an obligation to get our family members back home safely.”

The Illinois Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association estimates more than 200,000 Illinois residents have Alzheimer’s disease or related dementias. Nearly one-third of those will likely wander off and the state currently doesn’t have an adequate system to alert the public.

Senate Bill 1846 goes into effect January 1 of next year.

Sen. Bertino-Tarrant

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49th Senate District

Years served: 2013 - Present

Associated Representatives: Mark Batinick; Natalie A. Manley

Committee assignments: Appropriations II; Education (Chairperson); Labor; Licensed Activities and Pensions; Transportation.

Biography: Lifelong educator; former Will County superintendent and secretary of Will County Regional Board of School Trustees; B.A., Illinois State University; MS, University of St. Francis; EdD., Loyola.