Implement the Wisconsin State Dementia Plan 2019-2023

Wisconsin is in the process of implementing the Wisconsin State Dementia Plan for 2019-2023. As a member of the Steering Committee that is implementing the State Dementia Plan, the Alzheimer's Association is working with its advocates to secure legislative and policy changes to improve the supports and services provided to persons living with dementia and their caregivers. We are urging state legislators to continue implementing the State Dementia Plan and support the recommendations of the State Dementia Plan Steering Committee.

Improve the Oversight of Memory Care Facilities

Wisconsin does not currently regulate or even define “memory care” or “special care units.” This has created a great deal of confusion for consumers about the disparate level of services that can be advertised as “memory care.” The Alzheimer’s Association is calling on state legislators to support legislation to define the core set of services and minimum standards required for a facility to be called a “memory care facility” or “special care units.”

Wisconsin State Plan Overview

In October 2013, the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) convened the Dementia Care Stakeholder Summit to discuss a redesign of the state’s dementia care system in order to provide appropriate, safe and cost-effective care throughout the entire course of Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias. With input from the Summit, DHS released a draft State Plan for public comment and review. The DHS incorporated the stakeholder input into its final published report, Dementia Care Redesign: A Plan for a Dementia-Capable Wisconsin, released in February 2014. 

In 2018, DHS conducted a public survey to get input from people with memory loss or dementia, family members and people who informally care for someone with memory loss or dementia, and professionals that work with those who have dementia and their families. The Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) convened the 2018 Dementia Summit and brought together key stakeholders from the dementia care system including family caregivers, Alzheimer’s and dementia advocacy organizations, representatives from state and local health and human services agencies, state legislators, clinicians, researchers, home care providers, and long-term care providers. Taking into account the results of the public survey, the participants of the Dementia Summit agreed on priorities in four major focus areas: 1) Care provided in communities where people live; 2) Improving how health care providers diagnose and care for people with dementia; 3) Responding to crises involving people with dementia; 4) Care provided in assisted living, nursing homes, and other residential facilities. These priorities form the foundation of the current Wisconsin State Dementia Plan: 2019–2023

The State Plan is designed to be a five-year plan, to be implemented from 2019 through 2023 under the guidance of a small State Plan Steering Committee that engages many additional partners to serve on four distinct work groups that convene to implement the goals and strategies in the state plan. These four work groups are focused on: care in the communities, health care, crisis response, and facilities.


Wisconsin State Advocacy Day

February 08, 2022

Wisconsin held a very successful virtual Alzheimer's Advocacy day with the help of 315 advocates! Our Advocacy Day kicked off with Governor Evers appearing live to talk about his proposals to address Alzheimer's and dementia in Wisconsin including the statewide expansion of the Dementia Care Specialist Program and additional funding for the Alzheimer's Family and Caregiver Support Program, as well as his current initiative to create a caregiver tax credit. Next, we hosted State Representative Amy Loudenbeck, Vice-Chair of the Joint Committee on Finance to discuss the State Budget process, how the Legislature has addressed Alzheimer's and dementia, and new innovations that will assist people living with dementia. Lastly, we hosted former Governor Martin Schreiber to discuss the importance of Alzheimer's advocacy and the power of grassroots advocates. Thank you to all who participated and we look forward to seeing you again next year!

Sign Up to Learn More About Advocacy Opportunities in Wisconsin

Sign me up to participate in the upcoming State Advocacy Day!

State Affairs Contact Michael Bruhn | 608-576-0650 [email protected]

Alzheimer's Facts and Figures in Wisconsin

Alzheimer's Disease Facts and Figures, an annual report released by the Alzheimer's Association®, reveals the burden of Alzheimer's and dementia on individuals, caregivers, government and the nation's health care system.


woman holding glasses


Individuals living with Alzheimer's in Wisconsin

This number is projected to increase 8.3% between 2020 and 2025.

Nationally, there are more than 6 million Americans living with Alzheimer's. This number is expected to more than double by 2050.



Deaths from Alzheimer's in Wisconsin in 2019

couple hugging on bench

Alzheimer's is the 6th leading cause of death in Wisconsin.

There were 881 more deaths than expected from Alzheimer's and dementia during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, 16% higher than average.


caregiver hugging

Value of unpaid care work

Hours of unpaid care

Nationally, Alzheimer's and dementia caregivers provided nearly $257 billion in unpaid care in 2021. In Wisconsin, there are 198,000 dementia caregivers, who each provide an average of 20 hours of unpaid care per week




per capita Medicare spending on people with dementia



Medicaid costs of caring for people with Alzheimer's in 2020

Hospice and Hospitals


# of people in hospice with a primary diagonsis of dementia


# of emergency department visits per 1,000 people with dementia

People with Alzheimer's disease have twice as many hospital stays per year as other older people. Nationally, emergency department visits for those with dementia have increased nearly 30% over the past decade.

The 2021 Alzheimer's Disease Facts and Figures report contains data on the impact of Alzheimer's on the nation and in every state across the country.
Visit alz.org/facts to view the full report.