MADISON - The Boone County Sheriff's Office has completed new training.

The entire staff at the law enforcement division has completed dementia-friendly training provided by WV Cares. The trained staff includes all sworn law enforcement officers as well as civilians.

"This is a goal we have been working toward since late August of 2018 and it took three separate training sessions to complete," Chief Deputy Chad Barker said via press release. "We are the first Sheriff's Office in the State of West Virginia to be 100 percent trained in this dementia-friendly program, all made possible through grant funding.

"We feel it is important to become more familiar with and recognize signs of someone suffering from Alzheimer's or a form of dementia and how to properly proceed with the patient," Barker continued. "Another important part of this training included learning about resources available to family members and care givers. Oftentimes these people don't take time to care for themselves when providing for a loved one."

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"We would like to issue a challenge to all other sheriff's offices across the State of West Virginia, to become more dementia friendly," he said. "This is part of a larger-scale operation to make West Virginia the first Dementia Friendly state in the United States, and we are extremely proud to be part of it. We hope to be part of training in the future for local banks, businesses and public offices."

To learn more about this topic, you may also visit the following link to Caregiver Coffee Break at

This training would not have been possible without the help of the following people: Dr. Shirley Neitch with Marshall University and the Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine; Dr. Ron Stollings, local physician and state senator; Helen Matheny with WVU Health Sciences and WV Cares; and Carol Matheny with Quality Insights and Caregiver Coffee Break.