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Dementia Capable Wisconsin-Creating New Partnerships in Dementia Care

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 outcomes, we are partnering with various community agencies to create innovative programs that are designed to meet these goals.


EMS (Emergency Medical Services) 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 and Deer Grove 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 assisting with connecting them community support services that will increase the likelihood of them staying in their homes.


Article: Can a "friendly visit" play a role in keeping seniors safe at home? (4/15/19,


Home Health Caregiver Education

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. As dementia progresses, medical issues can become more complex and can result in early nursing home placement and caregiver burnout. WAI is responding to this by partnering with UW Home Health and Heartland Home Health to implement 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.


Screening For Dementia In Persons With An Intellectual/Developmental Disability

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 some are at higher risk for dementia, particularly those with Down Syndrome. Our goal with this project is to train professionals throughout the state working with people with I/DD, how to complete and utilize the National Task Group- Early Detection Screen for Dementia (NTG-EDSD) tool,  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 ApproachTM

When a loved one is diagnosed with dementia (of any type), caregivers are rarely given information about the condition or what to expect. For example, 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.


The good news is that WAI, in collaboration with the University of Michigan-Program for Positive Aging, has conducted DICE ApproachTM trainings to Dementia Care Specialists and other dementia professionals throughout the state, to address the challenges of difficult behaviors associated with dementia. DICE is an algorithmic method that stands for: Describe, Investigate, Create, and Evaluate. This strategy used by trained professionals, teaches caregivers how to describe or interpret the behaviors caused by this brain illness, assess what might be causing it, create a response that can work, and then evaluate the outcome. By scheduling an appointment with one of these professionals, they can help caregivers learn the simple tools to consider what is happening and how to best respond.  Being successful by using this approach will minimize the additional stress for caregivers and their loved ones, and may help them remain in the home longer.


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, particularly with challenging situations. These consultations are provided by social worker, Molly Schroeder, CSW; geriatric nurse practitioner, Sarah Endicott, DNP; 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


For more information, contact Molly Schroeder at

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