Alzheimer’s Aware Initiative Overview

“Alzheimer’s Aware” is a national initiative funded by the U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Assistance. Alzheimer’s Aware provides free practical resources that can be used by any law enforcement organization—or other interested group—working to increase positive outcomes in situations where Alzheimer’s disease intersects with the law enforcement community, particularly when related to the issue of wandering.

The national Alzheimer’s Aware initiative site offers a number of practical resources and tools that can be used to assist in the development of collaborative partnerships between law enforcement and the communities they serve, with the goal of protecting persons with Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia, preventing such persons from becoming lost, and locating in a timely manner those who are reported missing. These resources provide recommendations for developing a strategic plan that includes practical action steps and suggested activities to implement a holistic, communitywide approach to addressing the needs of those in the community who are living with Alzheimer’s disease, as well as their families and caregivers, and provide law enforcement with techniques to effectively interact with members of the community who have Alzheimer’s disease or other dementia.

In order to reach the goals and objectives of increased awareness, appropriate response, and improved outcomes as related to Alzheimer’s disease and wandering, the national Alzheimer’s Aware initiative is built with three over-arching areas of focus:

Law Enforcement

Community Partners

Caregivers

All three focus areas center on an understanding that awareness — both at the law enforcement level and the community level — needs to be increased in order to make a difference in the outcomes for these individuals, their families, and the community as a whole.