Updated: 03/17/2014 7:08 PM
Created: 03/17/2014 4:38 PM KSTP.com
By: Ellen Galles
A total of 100,000 Minnesotans have Alzheimer's, and the number of people diagnosed with the disease continues to escalate as our population ages.
Now, the Alzheimer's Association in Minnesota wants to make sure professionals who care for patients have specialized training for the disease.
A group of Minnesotans, all wearing purple, packed the Minnesota Capitol rotunda Monday. The group supports proposed legislation that would require specialized dementia training for staff members at assisted-living facilities in Minnesota.
The bill calls for eight hours of training the first year, and four hours of training every year after that. The training topics cover everything form communication to managing behaviors.
"We are learning new things about Alzheimer's every day. That's why training has to be ongoing, because things change, and what we know now is not the same as what we knew five years ago," said Sue Spalding with the Alzheimer's Association of Minnesota and North Dakota.
The bill goes before the House Health and Human Service Policy Committee on Tuesday.