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Dementia Capable Wisconsin-Forging New Ground

The Wisconsin Alzheimer’s Institute (WAI) received a three-year federal grant in 2016 from the Administration for Community Living titled, "Dementia Capable Wisconsin: Creating New Partnerships in Dementia Care." The goal of this project is to help people with dementia live at home as long as possible, reduce the use of unplanned emergency medical services, and to reduce caregiver stress and burden. To reach these goals, we are partnering with various community agencies to create innovative programs that are designed to meet these goals.


EMS VISITOR PROGRAM - In our community, there are many individuals with dementia who are living at home alone without in-home services, and who may be more reluctant to accept services. As a result, they may be at higher risk for health and safety consequences that would prevent them in staying in their homes longer. To address this, we have partnered with FitchRona Emergency Medical Services to create a visitor program to address the needs of these people and increase their safety and well-being. The warm and friendly EMS visitors are meeting with individuals to build a positive rapport with them, and then connecting them community support services that will increase the likelihood of them staying in their homes.

UW HOME HEALTH CURRICULUM - Most informal caregivers to not have the skills or experience to address the common medical and nursing needs that their loved ones with dementia have. WAI is responding to this by partnering with UW Home Health to develop a training curriculum that will teach caregivers how to identify, prevent and manage the common health concerns in persons with dementia before it turns into medical crisis.

I/DD and ADRD - People living with an Intellectual/Developmental Disability (I/DD) have unique needs when it comes to assessments for Alzheimer’s Dementia and other Related Dementia (ADRD). As the population of people with I/DD live longer they are at higher risk for dementia, particularly those with Down Syndrome. Our goal with this project is to identify the training and services needed for these individuals in our state, so they can have the same access to quality evaluations and follow up care.

DICE APPROACH - It is very common for persons with dementia to experience behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia (BPSD) that can be distressing to them and their caregivers. WAI held a DICE Approach training, conducted by the experts at the University of Michigan on Sept. 28th, 2017 to teach Dementia Care Specialists and other professionals on how to address BPSD. DICE is an algorithmic method that stands for: Describe, Investigate, Create, and Evaluate. We were fortunate to have 125 people attend this training to learn this approach to address BPSD through non-pharmacological approaches.

  • Consultations: To support and understand the work that each of our partners are doing directly with persons with dementia and their caregivers, WAI is providing consultation services to help assist and guide them through the process. These consultations are provided by social worker, Molly Schroeder, CSW; geriatric nurse practitioner, Sarah Endicott, DNP; UW geriatrician, Dr. Jane Mahoney; and UW geriatric psychiatrist, Dr. Art Walaszek.¬†Aurora Healthcare geriatrician, Dr. Michael Malone, provides additional consultation through the Most Challenging Case Conferences he facilitates.¬†

For more information, contact Molly Schroeder at

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