edlyallen 061223SPRINGFIELD — State Senator Mary Edly-Allen’s measure requiring training related to Alzheimer’s and dementia for publically appointed guardians was signed into law, taking an essential step toward ensuring guardians have the necessary tools to provide compassionate care.

“The emotional toll of Alzheimer’s and dementia cannot be overstated as these diseases not only rob individuals of their memories and cognitive function, but also take away their independence,” said Edly-Allen (D-Libertyville). “Equipping caregivers with the knowledge they need will promote a safe and supportive environment for those receiving care.”

Senate Bill 216 will require public guardians to undergo at least one hour of training on how to recognize, care for and interact with patients who have Alzheimer’s or dementia. The training must be completed within six months of the guardian’s appointment and renewed annually.

"We're thrilled by the overwhelming bipartisan Senate support for providing guardians with a basic level of dementia training.  This training will better equip guardians to protect and serve vulnerable individuals living with Alzheimer's," said Jennifer Belkov, Vice President for Public Policy at the Alzheimer's Association Illinois Chapter. 

Currently, Illinois has no basic requirement for training related to Alzheimer’s and dementia for medical personnel, community care staff or direct-care workers. Training publically appointed guardians on how to recognize behaviors and respond with empathy and appropriate interventions can significantly improve the quality of life for individuals with Alzheimer’s or dementia.

The training would include topics such as: effective communication strategies; best practices for interacting with people living with Alzheimer's disease or related forms of dementia; and strategies for supporting people living with Alzheimer's disease or related forms of dementia in exercising their rights.

“We are seeing an increase in the amount of Illinois residents living with diagnosed Alzheimer’s, which further highlights the need for laying this groundwork,” said Edly-Allen. “I urge these caretakers to take the steps to be fully equipped with all the knowledge they need to aid their loved ones.”

Senate Bill 216 was signed into law Friday and goes into effect January 1, 2024.