New 50 State Survey of Dementia Training Requirements

With more than 5 million people living with Alzheimer’s and other dementias, there’s a growing need for robust training standards for health care professionals in the special needs of people with cognitive impairment. For example, though 64% of nursing home residents have dementia, only 23 states have laws prescribing training requirements for direct care staff in nursing homes and, of those, only one state requires staff to pass competency examinations. Only ten states require dementia training for law enforcement.

These are among the findings of an in-depth 50-state survey of statutes and regulations that Justice in Aging conducted with the support of the Alzheimer’s Association. We looked at dementia training requirements for professionals in a variety of health care and community settings and found wide variation among states in both the amount and the content of required training. We compiled our findings in a five-paper series, Training to Serve People with Dementia: Is our Health Care System Ready?

So advocates can easily find whether their state has standards in each area, Papers 2 through 4 include detailed tables of state laws and regulations in each category, complete with full citations.

We also presented a webinar outlining the major findings of the study and offering an initial roadmap for advocates working to address training gaps.

Katrina Cohens

About Katrina Cohens

Katrina Cohens is based in Justice in Aging’s Washington, DC office and serves as the Database Manager.