Increase Public Awareness, Early Detection And Diagnosis

Alzheimer's Disease Awareness Grant

Increased awareness of Alzheimer's disease leads to earlier detection and diagnosis. Due to the progressive nature of Alzheimer's and other dementias, the best opportunity for individuals to benefit from available treatments, enroll in clinical trials, build a care team and express their wishes is in the early stages of the disease. The Alzheimer's Association was awarded a one-time $500,000 grant for fiscal year 2019 to conduct a major-media campaign targeting rural and underserved urban populations, which has illustrated the ongoing need for increased awareness of the disease and the support available. An annual appropriation of $500,000 would allow the continuation of outreach efforts to underserved populations across Wisconsin as the prevalence of Alzheimer's and related dementias continues to grow, particularly in minority populations.

Increase Access to Home and Community-Based Services

Expansion of Respite Care for the Alzheimer's Family and Caregiver Support Program

There are nearly 200,000 unpaid, family caregivers in Wisconsin providing 220,000,000 hours of unpaid care. These unpaid caregivers allow individuals with Alzheimer's to remain in their home, which also reduces the cost of providing care. However, nearly 60% of individuals rate the emotional stress of caregiving as high or very high, and 40% report symptoms of depression. The Alzheimer's Association requests an increase in the income cap thresholds to receive respite care and an additional $1,500,000 annually to fund respite care under the Alzheimer's Family and Caregiver Support Program.

Increase Access to Home and Community-Based Services

Expansion of the Dementia Care Specialist Program

The dementia care specialist (DCS) positions located within the Aging and Disability Resource Centers across Wisconsin assist individuals with Alzheimer's or other dementias stay in their homes and communities. The DCSs not only positively impact the lives of the individuals and caregivers living and dealing with Alzheimer's and dementias, they also have a positive impact on the state's budget. Each day an individual remains in the community outside expensive institutional care saves taxpayers $161 per day or nearly $60,000 annually. The Alzheimer's Association requests an expansion of the dementia care specialist program statewide as part of the 2019-2021 Wisconsin State Budget.

Advance Alzheimer's Policy

Fund Alzheimer's Research at the University of Wisconsin-Madison

Many legislators are highlighting their support for Alzheimer's, including funding research at the University of Wisconsin- Madison. The Alzheimer's Association will be working with State Legislators and advocating for a significant investment in research funding at UW-Madison as part of the 2019-2021 State Budget.

Advance Alzheimer's Policy

Implementation of the Wisconsin State Dementia Plan 2019-2023

Wisconsin is in the process of implementing its updated State Dementia Plan for 2019-2023. As a member of the Steering Committee for implementing the updated State Dementia Plan, the Alzheimer's Association is uniquely qualified to advocate for many of the goals and priorities contained within the Plan. The Alzheimer's Association will be working with its advocates to secure legislative and policy changes in Wisconsin where the updated State Dementia Plan is consistent with the Association's National State Policy Priorities.

Advance Alzheimer's Policy

Updates to the Criminal Justice System to Accommodate Individuals with Cognitive Impairment

The Alzheimer's Association will work with the Department of Justice to implement recommendations of the Attorney General's Task Force on Elder Abuse. As part of the recommendations, the DOJ will pilot an elder abuse supplemental incident report with law enforcement agencies across the state to help ensure they are collecting needed evidence for a criminal prosecution of a suspect. The proposed form will ensure that Wisconsin's laws protecting our most vulnerable citizens, individuals with Alzheimer's or another form of dementia, are more effectively enforced. This supplemental report provides those veteran officers with a reminder of the critical evidence and information needed when called upon to serve an elderly victim, particularly one with cognitive impairment. Additionally, the Alzheimer's Association will push for the passage of another Task Force recommendation: model legislation LRB 0402 to strengthen the process for older victims and witnesses who may have declining health by allowing for expedited hearings and the ability to preserve testimony through a video-taped court hearing that would have the defendant present for cross-examination. As the Task Force noted: "as degenerative brain diseases increase in populations, the system must be able to respond to the unique needs of an elderly victim's ability to testify." The proposed legislation would allow the local district attorney to request the court to conduct a hearing to record the testimony of the victim or witness within 60 days.

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 related 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. The Department of Health Services has been committed to working to change the way state residents with Alzheimer's disease and other dementias are cared for in Wisconsin and oversee state plan implementation to ensure a dementia-capable Wisconsin.


Wisconsin State Advocacy Day

February 19, 2019

Prepare to make an impact! Join advocates from across Wisconsin as we meet face-to-face with our State Legislators at the state capitol in Madison. You will have the opportunity to learn about the Alzheimer's Association's 2019 legislative priorities, hear from key policy makers about their efforts to address the impacts of Alzheimer's, and meet fellow advocates from across Wisconsin. Following lunch, we will meet with legislators to share our personal stories, and ask for their support of Alzheimer's Association priorities.

2020 Advocacy Forum

March 22-24, 2020 alz.org/forum

As an Alzheimer's advocate, you've worked to advance critical public policy, making a difference in the lives of all those impacted by Alzheimer's. Together we've achieved great increases in federal Alzheimer's research funding and secured critical advances in care and support. But we can't take our successes for granted — we need to keep the pressure on.

Join us in Washington for an inspiring three-day event filled with networking, training and education.

Be part of the movement that's making a difference in the fight against Alzheimer's.

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 | 608-318-4057 | [email protected]

Elected Officials

Enter your address here to see your elected officials' positions on Alzheimer's and ways you can contact them to support the Alzheimer's community.

Alzheimer's Facts and Figures in Wisconsin

Number of People Aged 65 and Older With Alzheimer's by Age

Year 65-74 75-84 85+ TOTAL
* Totals may not add due to rounding
2019 16,000 47,000 50,000 110,000
2025 20,000 60,000 54,000 130,000

Percentage change from 2019




Medicaid costs of caring for people with Alzheimer's (2019)


change in costs from 2019 to 2025



per capita Medicare spending on people with dementia (in 2018 dollars)

HOSPICE (2016)



of people in hospice have a primary diagnosis of dementia


of people in hospice with a primary diagnosis of dementia

Hospitals (2015)



of emergency department visits per 1,000 people with dementia


dementia patient hospital readmission rate



Number of Caregivers


Total Hours of Unpaid Care


Total Value of Unpaid Care


Higher Health Costs of Caregivers

Number of Deaths from Alzheimer's Disease (2017)


6th leading cause of death in Wisconsin

For more information, view the 2019 Alzheimer's Disease Facts and Figures report at alz.org/facts.

U.S. Statistics

Over 5 million Americans are living with Alzheimer's, and as many as 14 million will have the disease in 2050. The cost of caring for those with Alzheimer's and other dementias is estimated to total $290 billion in 2019, increasing to $1.1 trillion (in today's dollars) by mid-century. Nearly one in every three seniors who dies each year has Alzheimer's or another dementia.