TAMPA, Fla. — Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a bill last week that will give law enforcement access to dementia training.

What You Need To Know

  • Gov. Ron DeSantis signed HB801, which provides training for law enforcement

  • The available training can address possible encounters with those who have dementia

  • The training will be available in October

The bill, HB801, provides training for law enforcement and corrections officers, so that they can better recognize and communicate during encounters with people who have dementia.

“The Alzheimer’s Association Florida chapters join caregivers across our state in applauding the Governor and Florida legislature for taking a step to protect our most vulnerable citizens,” said Alex Anderson, vice president of Public Policy at the Alzheimer’s Association Florida chapters. “We encourage all law enforcement agencies to work with the Department of Elder Affairs to roll out dementia training for their staff.”

Kip Corriveau helps care for his father-in-law, who has Alzheimer’s disease. Corriveau said the 89-year-old frequently wanders.

“I literally used to sit in my house with my shoes on at 6, 7 o’clock in the morning,” Corriveau said. “Shoes on, keys in my hand, phone next to me in case he ran out the front door.”

According to the Alzheimer’s Association, 6 in 10 people with dementia will wander. Which is why Corriveau said he joined members of the organization in Tallahassee to lobby for the bill’s passage. Now, with it signed into law, he said families will have some peace of mind.

“Having law enforcement have a better understanding of the disease and how to interact with our loved ones is priceless,” Corriveau said.

The dementia training will be online and available starting in October.