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Alzheimer's Association Seeks Better Dementia Care Training

Joyce Russell/IPR
Alzheimer's Association Statehouse Lobbying Day

The organization that represents some 63,000 Iowans with Alzheimer’s disease had its annual lobby day at the capitol today. 

Officials with the Alzheimer's Association say they want more accountability for health care workers providing dementia care.    

Currently, health care workers in nursing homes and other facilities must have a certain number of hours of dementia training.  

Carol Sipfle, executive director of the Alzheimer's Association Iowa Chapter, wants workers to show their competence as well.

"We believe that if their caregivers are trained and competent in providing care, those Iowans are going to get better care and, hopefully, be able to stay in their homes longer," Sipfle says.

A bill to beef up training for caregivers failed to advance this year, but backers will try again next year. Some care facilities opposed the legislation.  

Sipfle says some families of Alzheimer's patients have experienced unsatisfactory care.

"It was more of a matter of training didn't prepare people to provide the care that was needed," Sipfle says.

The Association also seeks a $100,000 appropriation for an Alzheimer's Public Awareness Campaign.  

"If this is funded we can raise awareness," Sipfle says, "about the importance of early detection and the many resources available from the Alzheimer's Association.