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Arizona Program Teaches Lawyers How To Help Clients With Dementia

As the rates of Alzheimer’s disease and other types of dementia increase, some legal professionals are already confronting the issue at work and in the courtroom.

If an attorney or judge suspects a colleague has dementia, that person needs to know what his or her responsibilities and obligations are. To help, the State Bar of Arizona, the Arizona Supreme Court and team of legal professionals developed, “Hidden in Plain Sight: Dementia and its Impact on Lawyers and Judges,” a free, 75-minute training program.

Gabriel Goltz is with the Supreme Court. He said this kind of training is important because.

"It presents unique challenges where competence and the ability to follow proceedings if you are a litigant, or direct them if you’re an attorney or a judge are critical so its absolutely a problem that’s already with us and get larger in scope," Goltz said.

The award-winning training program has been seen by more than 1,100 legal professionals across the country.

KJZZ senior field correspondent Kathy Ritchie has 20 years of experience reporting and writing stories for national and local media outlets — nearly a decade of it has been spent in public media.