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Pritzker signs bills boosting Alzheimer's care

17 Aug 2021 3:00 PM | Anonymous

Illinois is the first state to require regular Alzheimer’s disease training for licensed healthcare professionals, after Gov. JB Pritzker greenlit the proposal Monday at the Illinois State Fairgrounds in Springfield.

The law, effective Jan. 1, 2023, requires providers with direct patient interaction with adults older than 25 to complete at least a one-hour course in diagnosis, treatment and care of Alzheimer’s and other dementias.

"Early detection is key to treatment,” House sponsor Rep. Kathleen Willis. D-Northlake, said in a statement. She said 230,000 Illinois residents are living with Alzheimer’s.

And he approved a measure, effective immediately, requiring that long-term care facilities and hospitals, upon request, facilitate at least one daily phone or video call between a resident or patient and their family member during a public health emergency.

Delia Jervier, executive director of the Illinois chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association, said the laws will help address disparities in care, as Black and Latinx residents are more likely to develop Alzheimer's than their white counterparts.

“Illinois is leading the nation as we seek to be a dementia-capable state until a cure or prevention is found,” Jervier said.

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