Mara Botonis and Project Lifesaver

In recognition of World Alzheimer’s Awareness Month this month, we wanted to focus for the next few days on improving our loved one’s safety.  As the numbers of persons living with Alzheimer’s are on the rise, so too are the number of encounters persons living with dementia are having with law enforcement.

Mara Botonis and Project Lifesaver
Mara Botonis and Project Lifesaver

A non-profit organization founded by and comprised of over 1,400 member Law Enforcement Agencies throughout the US, Project Lifesaver International has been responsible for over 3,000 rescues of persons with cognitive impairment. I’ve collaborated with them to create the ONLY scenario-based Alzheimer’s/Dementia Emergency Response training designed for and with Law Enforcement input combining the best practices available from Alzheimer’s experts today with police procedures to help support safe outcomes for all involved.

Prior to development of this course, we learned that most Law Enforcement Agency’s Cognitive Impairment Training (CIT) spends less than approximately 2 hours on Alzheimer’s specific education.   CIT training for Alzheimer’s is currently NOT a requirement in most agencies and is usually only offered annually.

We need to raise our voices as persons living with dementia, care partners and allied health care professionals to support an increase in the amount of education we are offering officers on the street and first responders about Alzheimer’s/dementia.  

With someone new being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s every 67 seconds, the days when a first responder could start and end their shift without encountering a person with dementia may quickly be coming to an end.  We need to help improve the odds that if/when our loved ones encounter our law enforcement, that the outcomes are more likely to be positive ones for all involved.

Please encourage your local law enforcement agency to contact Project Lifesaver International at 772-446-1271 to learn how to schedule this course for Police, Fire and Rescue personnel in your area.

To read what some of our Nation’s Leading Alzheimer’s experts and Law Enforcement Leadership are saying about this course, please visit


  1. vasundhara dutt

    I am a caregiver to my mother suffeting from alzheimer.would like to read ur blog.

  2. Sushanth

    Thank you for bringing attention to this much needed initiative to protect the elderly. An additional article talking about more awareness for common scams here:

  3. Melissa -

    Thanks for sharing this, Mara. What you have done is really great. I believe it is crucial for law enforcement officers to undergo regular training on how to hande the behaviors of people with Alzheimer’s disease properly. This also considering the fact the number of adults being diagnosed with this condition is increased.

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