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First responders play an important role in the lives of people with Alzheimer's and their families. We recognize the necessity to have information at your fingertips that can help guide you through difficult situations with people with dementia and to keep all involved as safe as possible. This page will feature education tips and resources for first responders to use on the job or recommend to families in your community.

Approaching Alzheimer's: Make your first response the right response
The Alzheimer's Association has developed a training program designed to give first responders information that will make it easier for you to do your job quickly and effectively.

Through this training, we provide you with high-quality content that was developed by a cross-functional team from the Alzheimer's Association national office, local chapters and members of the first responder community.

The content has been divided into four key sections:

  • Wandering
  • Driving, Firearms and Shoplifting
  • Abuse and Neglect
  • Disaster Response

The training can be presented in 15 minute segments (to accommodate 'roll call training') or up to 3 hours. The following materials are available to accompany the "Approaching Alzheimer's" curriculum:

To promote the training in your department or agency, use a Promotional card or post a Promotional poster in your breakroom.
Helpful handouts for use during a training include:
  • Guide for First Responders — a four-page booklet with an overview of topics covered in the training
  • Four two-sided, coated 'tip cards', designed for use in pocket or putting in a car visor. The 'tip cards' cover Wandering, Driving, Abuse & Neglect and Disaster Response
  • A 'dash cling', for windows of first responder vehicles, featuring the emergency phone number for MedicAlert + Alzheimer's Association Safe Return program

If in-person training is not possible, the training can be delivered in approx. one hour using "Approaching Alzheimer's: DVD". Narrated by a police officer, the DVD condenses the training and includes scenarios features real first responders.

You can contact the chapter for training or purchase the DVD directly from the Alzheimer's Association.

Contact your local chapter to get these resources and to find out more about Approaching Alzheimer's:   Make your first response the right response.

Resources for families in your community

  • Safety Center — Taking measures to ensure safety at all times can help prevent injuries, and it can help people with dementia feel relaxed and less overwhelmed. The Alzheimer's Association Safety Center on the web, provides valuable information on safety in the home, driving, and other safety issues.
  • Comfort Zone — The Alzheimer's Association Comfort Zone™, powered by Omnilink, is a GPS location management service that can help families stay active.
  • MedicAlert® + Alzheimer's Association Safe Return® — MedicAlert® + Alzheimer's Association Safe Return® is a 24-hour nationwide emergency response service for individuals with Alzheimer's or a related dementia who wander or have a medical emergency.

First responders are on the MOVE! Walk to End Alzheimer's™ is the nation's largest event to raise awareness and funds for Alzheimer's care, support and research — and it calls on people of all ages to take action in the fight. Year-round, our participants are involved in efforts to help defeat this devastating disease. If you want to get more involved in your community and support our cause, we encourage your department or agency to form a Walk team. To find or join team, go here:


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