Empathetic Care of Patients with Dementia a Top Priority for Dorchester County EMS
Dorchester County Emergency Medical Services (DCEMS) completed Alzheimer’s Care for First Responders training, with The ARK- Alzheimer’s Family Support Services, as part of its In-Service Training Program.
According to the Alzheimer’s Association, more than 5 million Americans are currently living with Alzheimer’s and 60%, of those, will wander or become lost. Alzheimer’s is the 6th leading cause of death in the United States and while other major causes of death are on the decline deaths from Alzheimer’s are rising. DCEMS and other first responders will come into contact with these patients with increasing frequency as the Alzheimer’s crisis deepens.
The training provides first responders a better understanding of the unique needs of Alzheimer’s, and other dementia patient’s, and what communication strategies work best to help improve interactions with and care for these patients.
The training was conducted by retired Summerville Fire-Rescue Battalion Chief, Rodney Profit, Peg Lahmeyer, Executive Director of The ARK and Mickey Styslinger NOAH Project Coordinator at The ARK. Profit serves on The ARK Board of Directors and is a part-time DCEMS paramedic. Profit believes “This training is essential for our First Responders. The training empowers them with the knowledge and compassion necessary to provide the most effective and empathetic care for dementia patients, while utilizing the best resources available.”
Doug Warren, Director of DCEMS added “Dementia, in all its forms, reaches throughout our community. I am very pleased that we have been able to partner with The Ark to provide this training to all of our personnel.” Warren added “This excellent training provided our medics with a much better understanding of dementia and also provided “tools” to assist them when they encounter patients with this debilitating disease.”
The completion of The ARK training program is part of DCEMS’ commitment to be responsive to the needs of a growing and changing community.
Pictured: DCEMS staff with trainers Rodney Profit, Peg Lahmeyer and Mickey Styslinger