In this AP file photo, Myra Handy reunites with her father after rescue personnel found the 87-year-old Jack Handy in Huntington, Vt., Monday, July 9, 2007. Handy, who suffers from Alzheimer's disease, spent the night in the woods with his dog.

 

Alden Pellett/AP Photo

Even with high-profile cases of Alzheimer's disease, like Pat and Annabel Bowlen, there's still much that most people don't know about dementia. For one, how it affects the work of police and other first responders.

Jim Lorentz is a Wheat Ridge police chief who trains first responders on how to interact with dementia patients. His wife Jill Lorentz is also passionate about the cause, running a support agency, Summit Resilience Training and hosting the weekly radio program Dementia Resilience. The Lorentz's talked to Colorado Matters.

Jim Lorentz's training include how to be attuned to domestic violence situations involving dementia, as well as shoplifting or indecent exposure. Officers learn how to determine if dementia could be a factor after stopping an erratic driver. They are also advised to take a hard line and issue summons to those drivers, in part to ensure that a follow-up takes place.