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CRISIS RESPONSE FOR PEOPLE WITH DEMENTIA 

Goal #1: Increase dementia-related knowledge and competency of crisis response professionals.

 

STRATEGIES:  

1. Develop dementia-related educational materials, including decision trees and protocols that are customized for professional groups within the crisis system.

2. Create an action plan for dementia-related training for law enforcement professionals and first responders.

3. Develop a dementia-related resource database and referral system that can be localized.

4. Provide for cross-training of county adult protective services (APS) and crisis teams on dementia-capable response. 

 


Goal#2: Develop a uniform system of dementia-related crisis response with priority on treating and managing crisis in place.

 

STRATEGIES:  

1. Develop recommendations for statutory and regulatory clarification or changes.

2. Form a statewide workgroup to develop best practices and replication procedures and guidance.

3. Develop protocols for identifying individuals at risk related to dementia and for intervening, with culturally appropriate considerations at every stage.

4. Establish an infrastructure for dementia-related crisis response, including:

a. Securing funding for local personnel. b. Creating new positions to ensure statewide leadership within DHS.

c. Collecting data on system operations and analyzing to evaluate and improve. 

Thank you to the volunteers affiliated with this leadership team:

  • Art Walaszek, Dane County

  • Charles Butler, Sheboygan County

  • Corby Stark,Polk County 

  • Cori Marsh, Rock County 

  • Chris Craggs, Winnebago County

  • Jennifer Bauer, Dane County

  • Tamara Feest,  Oneida and Vilas Counties

  • Kathy Beran,  Polk County

  • Matthew Herald,  Jefferson and Dodge Counties

  • Peter Navis, Walworth County 

  • Sarah O'Neil, Statewide

  • James Johnson, Ozaukee County 

  • Rebecca Mein, Ashland, Barron, Bayfield, Burnett, Douglas, Iron, Price, Rusk, Sawyer, and Washburn counties

 

Thank you Leadership Team Chairs who are working on these efforts:

  • Laurie Kohler, Waukesha County

  • Dinah LaCaze, Milwaukee County

  • Annie Yoveff, Statewide

 

ALZHEIMER'S AND DEMENTIA SAFETY & CRISIS RESOURCES

Safety is important for everyone, but the need for a comprehensive safety plan becomes vital as dementia progresses. Taking measures to improve safety can prevent injuries and help the person with Alzheimer’s feel more relaxed, less overwhelmed and maintain his or her independence longer.

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DRIVING, WANDERING & HOME SAFETY

Wandering: 

Six in 10 people with dementia will wander. A person with Alzheimer's may not remember his or her name or address, and can become disoriented, even in familiar places. Wandering among people with dementia is dangerous, but there are strategies and services to help prevent it.

Driving:

Driving requires the ability to react quickly to a variety of circumstances. Because of this, a person living with Alzheimer’s will, at some point, be unable to drive. Planning ahead can help ease the transition.

Safety:

Safety is important for everyone, but the need for a comprehensive safety plan becomes vital as dementia progresses. Taking measures to improve safety can prevent injuries and help the person with Alzheimer’s feel more relaxed, less overwhelmed and maintain his or her independence longer.

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AGGRESSIVE BEHAVIOR, ANXIETY & AGITATION

Aggressive behaviors may be verbal or physical. They can occur suddenly, with no apparent reason, or result from a frustrating situation. While aggression can be hard to cope with, understanding that the person with Alzheimer's or dementia is not acting this way on purpose can help.  


A person with Alzheimer's may feel anxious or agitated. He or she may become restless, causing a need to move around or pace, or become upset in certain places or when focused on specific details.

Emergency Vehicles

PREPARING FOR EMERGENCIES 

Emergency situations, such as tornados, hurricanes, heat waves, fires and blizzards, can have a significant impact on everyone's safety, but they can be especially upsetting and confusing for individuals with dementia.

Emergency situations are not just storms or weather related, but can also involve emergency care and treatments.

From the NIA: A trip to the emergency room (ER) can tire and frighten a person with Alzheimer’s or other dementia. Here are some ways to cope:

  • Ask a friend or family member to go with you or meet you in the ER. He or she can stay with the person while you answer questions.

  • Be ready to explain the symptoms and events leading up to the ER visit—possibly more than once to different staff members.

  • Tell ER staff that the person has dementia. Explain how best to talk with the person.

  • Comfort the person. Stay calm and positive. How you are feeling will get absorbed by others.

Resources

  • If you need immediate assistance for an emergency situation, dial 911.

  • Alzheimer’s Association 24/7 Helpline 800.272.3900.

  • The American Red Cross website offers information about preparing for an emergency and where to find shelter and supplies in a disaster.

  • Ready.gov has information about what to do before, during and after a disaster.

  • The National Hurricane Center provides hurricane alerts and tips to prepare for a hurricane.

  • The Humane Society of the United States offers tips on how to keep pets safe in natural disasters and everyday emergencies.

 

None of us, including me, ever do great things. But we can all do small things, with great love, and together we can do something wonderful.

Mother Theresa