Senator VillivalamSPRINGFIELD – To provide quality care to patients with Alzheimer’s disease, State Senator Ram Villivalam (D-Chicago) passed legislation in the Illinois Senate that would add Alzheimer’s and dementia training to the license renewal process for doctors and other healthcare providers.

“Diagnosing Alzheimer’s early is essential for receiving the best treatment possible,” Villivalam said. “This legislation will better enable doctors and all healthcare providers to identify and recommend treatment to patients showing early signs of dementia.”

The legislation is an initiative of Lt. Gov. Juliana Stratton and the Alzheimer’s Association. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, more than 6 million Americans live with Alzheimer’s disease including over 230,000 in Illinois.

“Currently, less than half of people living with Alzheimer’s ever receive a diagnosis – unable to plan for the future, ineligible to participate in clinical trials, and unable to access vital resources,” said Delia Jervier, Executive Director of the Alzheimer’s Association, Illinois Chapter. “By training healthcare providers to recognize the signs and symptoms, Illinois will be a leader in Alzheimer’s diagnoses and providing quality care for residents.”

The legislation would ensure all licensed healthcare professionals who care for adults receive regular Alzheimer’s and dementia training to better diagnose and treat patients at the time of their license renewal. The curriculum would include content on how to identify and diagnose Alzheimer’s, effective communication stratgies and management and care planning.

Senate Bill 677 passed the Illinois Senate and awaits consideration in the Illinois House.