TOKYO (majirox news) — A training course to assist the police in learning how to handle situations involving people with dementia and Alzheimer’s began for the first time in Japan on Oct. 26, police said. The course also included emergency search and rescue education.
The course included 230 police officers from Higashinada Ward in Kobe City. The training of almost an entire police precinct was unprecedented in the nation.
The elderly population in Kobe has spiked by 22.3%, an increase of 5.1% compared to 10 years ago. The aging of the country exceeds all other nations with the highest proportion of elderly citizens over age 65 (23.1%), according to the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communication.
“Officers should be certified to know how to handle difficult situations and protect the elderly whenever they can,” Chief Officer Koji Arita said. “So I decided to attend the Supporters’ Academy with the other officers as well. All the officers who took the course are qualified and will wear ‘orange rings’ on their uniform.”
There are approximately 2.9 million ordinary citizens who have already received certification as of Oct. 31, 2011.
Arita said his aim is to assist officers in helping the elderly with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
The course will assist police and the public in learning about and distinguishing characteristics of persons with Alzheimer’s disease who may be lost or argumentative. Moreover, it will offer effective communication strategies for interacting with the public and other vital information to help reunite lost persons with their family members.