Alzheimer’s disease is a growing public health crisis in Wisconsin. Without an effective treatment or cure, the impact of Alzheimer’s will continue to rise and the numbers in Wisconsin are escalating.
The most recent data show:

  • 110,000 people aged 65 and older living with Alzheimer’s in Wisconsin.
  • 10.9 percent of people aged 45 and older have subjective cognitive decline.
  • 194,000 family caregivers bear the burden of the disease in Wisconsin.
  • 220 million hours of unpaid care provided by Alzheimer’s caregivers.
  • $2.8 billion is the value of the unpaid care.
  • $723 million is the cost of Alzheimer’s to the state Medicaid program.

These numbers show that a public health approach is necessary to lessen the burden and enhance the quality of life for those living with cognitive impairment and their families.

Learn more about Wisconsin: Alzheimer’s Statistics, Cognitive Decline, Dementia Caregiving

Public health spotlight

In Wisconsin, the secretary of the Department of Health Services increased provider awareness through a letter sent to members of the Wisconsin Medical Society encouraging health care providers and organizations to use available resources to promote awareness of cognitive impairment and dementia within the state, to enhance early detection and diagnosis, and to make referrals to in-state resources.

Explore core areas

Find public health resources and examples that drive action across Alzheimer's-specific core areas.

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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 DHS 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. In March 2018, the DHS hosted a new stakeholder Dementia Summit to lay the foundation for the new state plan which will be implemented from 2019 through 2023.

Resources for action

State and local public health agencies around the country are taking action against Alzheimer’s by implementing the Healthy Brain Initiative State and Local Public Health Partnerships to Address Dementia: The 2018-2023 Road Map. Public health practitioners can learn by example and find resources to help guide their response below.  

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Implementation

Wisconsin Department of Health Services Collaborated in implementation of state Alzheimer's disease plan by helping develop a caregiver road map titled Dementia Road Map: A Guide for Family and Care Partners.
Wisconsin Department of Health Services Developed online training for family caregivers of people with Alzheimer’s disease or other dementia and provides a list of resources for caregivers
Wisconsin Department of Health Services Wisconsin Department of Health Services and a designated group of stakeholders, the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh (UWO), Center for Career Development and Employability Training (CCDET) is developing a series of free, online trainings related to dementia care for crisis responders, caregivers, healthcare providers, family and community members, and other professionals. A Spanish-language version is available.
Chippewa County Chippewa Health Improvement Partnership sets out to create a dementia-friendly community.
Department of Health Services Wisconsin’s secretary of health sent a letter to the Wisconsin Medical Society encouraging health care providers and organizations to use available resources to promote awareness of cognitive impairment and dementia within the state, to enhance early detection and diagnosis, and to make referrals to in-state resources.
Department of Health Services With legislative support, the Wisconsin Department of Health Services will award grants to counties for their mobile crisis teams to obtain training on recognizing and serving individuals with dementia.
Local Public Health Offices Regional public health offices partnered with the Alzheimer’s Association Southeastern Wisconsin Chapter to educate local public health staff about dementia and the Road Map.

 
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Resources

Workforce Education: Community Members, Students, and Other

Wisconsin Department of Health Services Building Dementia-Friendly Communities

Caregivers + BRFSS

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Infographic: Caregiving in Wisconsin

BRFSS + Cognitive Decline

Alzheimer's Association Fact Sheet: Cognitive Decline in Wisconsin (2015)
Alzheimer's Association Infographic: Cognitive Decline in Wisconsin (2015)
Alzheimer's Association Fact Sheet: Cognitive Decline in Wisconsin (2012)
Alzheimer's Association Fact Sheet: Cognitive Decline in Wisconsin (2011)

BRFSS + Caregivers

Alzheimer's Association Fact Sheet: Dementia Caregiving in Wisconsin (2015)
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Infographic: Caregiving in Wisconsin (2015)