NH State Budget Advances Crucial Alzheimer’s
and Dementia Training Requirements

Provision for Minimum Training Requirements for Direct Care Workforce in

Residential and Community-based Settings

The state budget signed into law today by Governor Sununu includes comprehensive dementia
training requirements for direct care staff in residential facilities and home and community-based
services. This crucial part of the direct-care workforce will now have to complete minimum
training requirements that incorporate principles of person-centered dementia care and
emphasize a thorough knowledge of the person, and their needs and abilities.

“After a great deal of work by legislators on both sides of the aisle, along with Governor Sununu,
Granite-staters will now be able to feel confident that the professionals caring for their loved
ones with Alzheimer’s and dementia receive proper training,” said Heather Carroll, Public Policy
Manager for the Alzheimer’s Association in New Hampshire. “These requirements bring New
Hampshire up to speed with nearly every other state in the nation and I applaud the courageous
and determined families who have been advocating for these common sense measures for
years”.

This legislation was the result of multiple state-wide commissions focused on evaluating and
improving the direct care workforce in the Granite State. The commissions tasked with these
efforts recommended a minimum standard for dementia care was desperately needed to meet
the challenges head-on, and to ensure the direct care workforce was confident and
appropriately trained to meet the needs of the rapidly aging population in New Hampshire,
particularly those with Alzheimer’s and related dementia.

“Working on the frontlines everyday, I am thrilled to know that the direct care workforce will now
have these minimum dementia training standards necessary to best care for families in the
home,” said Debra Derosiers, Director of Visiting Angels Home Care New Hampshire.
According to the Alzheimer’s Association, over 25,000 people are living with Alzheimer’s
disease in New Hampshire, and that number is only expected to grow.

“Alzheimer’s disease affects everybody,” said Senate Majority Leader Dan Feltes. “Through my
own family with my grandmother’s battle with dementia, to our neighbors and co-workers who
care for aging parents. Caregivers and families in New Hampshire should be able to trust that
the professional care they seek for their loved ones who are at their most vulnerable, is trained
in at least the minimum standard of dementia care.”

“We will now be able to give our hardworking direct care staff the tools and skills to confidently
care for our Granite Staters with cognitive impairment without delay," Sen. Feltes said.
“When we put forward a budget we look to enact one that does the most good for all Granite
Staters, but especially our most vulnerable,” said House Speaker Steve Shurtleff, who met one-
on-one with a number of families and advocates earlier this year. “The language for workforce
training for dementia care in the budget is essential to ensuring that those suffering from
Alzheimer’s and dementia are able to get the care they need and that workforce staff will be
able to understand how best implement person-centered care with the populations they serve.”
Lee resident and Alzheimer’s Association advocate Kimberly Memmesheimer knows all too well
how important it is to have well-trained professionals on the front lines of dementia care.
“Patients like my late mother and our family deserved caregivers who understood the symptoms
and behaviors associated with dementia,” Memmesheimer said. “Management of those with the
disease becomes easier when you’re properly trained and you understand techniques to
address dementia behaviors.”

“We applaud the Governor and the New Hampshire Legislature for championing provisions in
this budget that will improve the quality of care for thousands of New Hampshire residents living
with dementia,” said Jim Wessler, CEO of the Alzheimer’s Association Massachusetts/New
Hampshire Chapter. “By providing quality, evidence-based training to our hard-working
professional caregivers, we can equip them with state-of-the-art techniques; enhancing their
ability to care for the thousands of people living with Alzheimer’s and dementia.”