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Build a Dementia-Capable Workforce
Increase Wisconsin's Dementia Mobile Crisis Intervention Team Grant Funding
The Department of Health Services currently provides funding for grants to dementia mobile crisis units through crisis intervention team grants. The mobile crisis units are a mental health service used by counties to provide on-site, in-person mental health services with an emphasis on supporting individuals exhibiting symptoms of dementia. Senate Bill 456 would increase the amount of money that the Department of Health Services is required to award in grants for mental health crisis intervention team training for law enforcement agencies and correctional officers from $250,000 per fiscal biennium to $1,000,000 per fiscal biennium. Please contact your State Legislators and ask them to support Senate Bill 456.
Advance Alzheimer's Policy
Protect Individuals with Dementia from Financial Exploitation
People with dementia are at high risk of financial exploitation and Wisconsin legislators can act to protect them. Following the recommendations of the Attorney General's Task Force on Elder Abuse created by former Attorney General, Brad Schimel, Senate Bills 428 and 429 have been introduced to provide financial advisers and institutions with a strengthened ability to block suspicious transactions that may result in the financial exploitation against older adults. The recommendations also make a number of criminal law changes, now introduced as Senate Bill 427, including the creation of a mechanism in criminal law for freezing the assets in elder financial abuse cases. If a person is charged with a property crime against an elderly person, the District Attorney may request the defendant's assets be seized for the purpose of preserving the assets for restitution for the victim. Please contact your State Legislators and ask them to support Senate Bills 427, 428, and 429.
Advance Alzheimer's Policy
Create a Permanent Alzheimer's and Dementia Coordinator Position in the Department of Health Services
Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias require an dedicated focus by state government but Wisconsin does not currently have a position that is focused on bringing the multiple agencies together to lead the response. As the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have identified Alzheimer's and other dementias as a public health crisis, it is urgent that Wisconsin create a permanent Alzheimer's and dementia coordinator position within the Department of Health Services. This position would be responsible for overseeing implementation of the State Alzheimer's Plan, coordinating and enhancing state agency communication around dementia, leading new dementia initiatives and monitoring program performance. According to the Wisconsin Department of Health Services, there are currently more than 120,000 people living with dementia in our state, and by 2040, it is estimated that the population in Wisconsin living with dementia will double. As the prevalence and costs associated with providing care for individuals with Alzheimer’s continues to increase, the creation of a position that is focused on and responsible for Wisconsin’s response to this growing public health crisis is imperative. Please contact your State Legislators and request that they create a permanent Alzheimer's and dementia coordinator position within the Department of Health Services.
Advance Alzheimer's Policy
Update Wisconsin's Criminal Justice System to Accommodate Individuals with Cognitive Impairment
Senate Bill 430, a recommendation of the Attorney General’s Task Force on Elder Abuse, will strengthen the legal process for older victims and witnesses, particularly those living with Alzheimer’s or dementia. This legislation will allow for expedited hearings and will enable testimony to be preserved through a video-taped court hearing that would have the defendant present for cross-examination. The Task Force was particularly focused on the needs of individuals with Alzheimer and dementia, and recognized that the legal “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. Please contact your State Legislators and request that they support Senate Bill 430.
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.
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 new 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 serve 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 11, 2020
More than 240 Alzheimer's advocates from across the state visited Madison to turn the State Capitol purple. First Lady Kathy Evers kicked the day off with an empowering welcoming address, followed by a legislative panel that included State Senators Patrick Testin and Patty Schachtner, as well as, State Representatives Romaine Quinn and Jonathon Brostoff. All four lawmakers shared their personal stories about how Alzheimer's disease has impacted their lives. The panel answered questions from our advocates, provided information about their legislative priorities, and gave tips on holding an effective legislative meeting. We also provided training to our advocates on how to hold an effective meeting with State Legislators and their staff. One of our legislative priorities was on the floor of the full State Assembly on our Advocacy Day, as well. Wisconsin’s Alzheimer’s Advocacy Day was featured four times throughout the morning of the event on WKOW (ABC affiliate) in Madison. And, leading into the event, Wisconsin's Advocacy Day was featured on WTMJ's Weekend Morning News Show.
Sign Up to Learn More About Advocacy Opportunities in Wisconsin
State Affairs Contact Michael Bruhn | 608-576-0650 | [email protected]
Number of People Aged 65 and Older With Alzheimer's by Age
Percentage change from 2020
Medicaid costs of caring for people with Alzheimer's (2020)
change in costs from 2020 to 2025
per capita Medicare spending on people with dementia (in 2019 dollars)
of people in hospice have a primary diagnosis of dementia
of people in hospice with a primary diagnosis of dementia
of emergency department visits per 1,000 people with dementia
dementia patient hospital readmission rate
increase in emergency deparment visits since 2007
Number of Caregivers
Total Hours of Unpaid Care
Total Value of Unpaid Care
|2,453||total deaths in Wisconsin|
|6th||leading cause of death in Wisconsin|
For more information, view the 2020 Alzheimer's Disease Facts and Figures report at alz.org/facts.
Over 5 million Americans are living with Alzheimer's, and as many as 13.8 million will have the disease in 2050. The cost of caring for those with Alzheimer's and other dementias is estimated to total $305 billion in 2020, increasing to $1.1 trillion (in today's dollars) by mid-century. Nearly 1 in 3 seniors who dies each year has Alzheimer's or another dementia.