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!