HEALTH CARE
WISCONSIN STATE DEMENTIA PLAN

 

GOAL #1:  INCREASE TIMELY AND ACCURATE DIAGNOSIS BY PCPS TO ENABLE PEOPLE WITH ALZHEIMER’S DISEASE, RELATED DEMENTIAS, AND OTHER COGNITIVE DISORDERS TO RECEIVE CULTURALLY TAILORED, HIGH-QUALITY TREATMENT AND SUPPORT IN ORDER TO MAINTAIN THE HIGHEST POSSIBLE QUALITY OF LIFE.

Strategies:

1. Provide PCPs with clinical training and ready access to educational resources on standardized approaches to diagnosis and manage common cognitive disorders and on appropriate referral strategies to dementia specialists for people with complicated or rare cognitive and/or behavioral disorders.  

 
2. Provide incentives for PCPs to appropriately diagnose dementia, mild cognitive impairment, and other cognitive disorders.


3. Provide dementia education and information on workforce needs to undergraduate students interested in health care; medical, nursing, and physician assistant students and residents in primary care (internal medicine, family medicine) and other related fields (psychiatry, neurology) through partnerships with state medical schools, advanced practice provider training programs, and residency programs.


4. Ensure PCPs have the knowledge of and access to resources so that they may provide information to people with dementia and family caregivers to help link them with community resources. 

GOAL #2: ENSURE THAT HEALTH CARE SYSTEMS AND PROVIDERS ARE DEMENTIA-CAPABLE SO THAT PEOPLE WITH DEMENTIA AND THEIR FAMILIES RECEIVE HIGH-QUALITY CARE IN THE MOST EFFECTIVE AND LEAST RESTRICTIVE ENVIRONMENT POSSIBLE.

Strategies:

1. Develop and implement strategies for marketing and building awareness of the value of having dementia-capable health systems for health care professionals, including administrators, associations, and the community.


2. Develop a roadmap and toolkits for role-specific dementia training for health system professionals, support teams, and administrative leaders, including:

a. Nonclinical staff.

b. Clinical staff.

c. Allied health professionals.

d. Primary care providers.

e. Memory care specialist clinicians.

f. Other clinical providers (for example, orthopedic surgeons, gastroenterologists).

g. Health care system administrators and leaders.


3. Enhance the competence of health care professionals by implementing basic and continuing interdisciplinary training with mandatory minimum standards. 4. Develop and incentivize the use of best practices in dementia care, including the provision of linkages to community resources and incorporation of dementia-friendly design principles and environments in health care settings.

 
 

RESOURCES TO HELP WITH GETTING A DIAGNOSIS

Alzheimer's disease often hides in plain sight. It is the nation's largest under-recognized public health crisis, impacting close to 6 million people nationwide, many of whom live in communities with limited access to health care resources. The Wisconsin Campaign for Alzheimer's Awareness brings Alzheimer's out of hiding, breaks stigmas associated with the disease, and connects all communities to critically needed support programs, services and resources.

Concerned about memory loss or other symptoms? Learn how Alzheimer's is diagnosed, what questions you should ask your physician, and the importance of receiving an early diagnosis.

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WARNING SIGNS OF DEMENTIA AND ALZHEIMER'S CAN HIDE IN PLAIN SIGHT

Memory loss that disrupts daily life may be a symptom of Alzheimer's or other dementia. Alzheimer's is a brain disease that causes a slow decline in memory, thinking and reasoning skills. There are 10 warning signs and symptoms. If you notice any of them, don't ignore them. Schedule an appointment with your doctor.

Get checked. Early detection matters. You can always call 1.800.272.3900 for more help and information about early warning signs. 


If you notice any of the 10 Warning Signs of Alzheimer's in yourself or someone you know, don't ignore them. Schedule an appointment with your doctor.

A major barrier to quality care for persons affected by dementia and Alzheimer’s disease and their families is the inability or failure to obtain a timely and accurate diagnosis. An estimated 50 percent of people with a dementing illness are never diagnosed or diagnosed at advanced stages of the disease when support, education and current treatments are less effective. WAI offers a network of over 30 affiliated Dementia Diagnostic Clinics, including clinics in Milwaukee serving the African-American and Latino communities. These diverse state-wide Memory Clinics, provide quality care to more than 3,000 new patients annually, many from rural, underserved parts of Wisconsin. Through these Memory Clinics, WAI also provides education, mentorship and support to nearly 200 physicians, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, psychologists, social workers, nurses and therapists within this statewide network.


If you have concerns about memory loss, thinking skills or behavioral changes in yourself or a loved one, an important first step toward diagnosis and treatment includes contacting your primary care provider or nearby memory clinic for an evaluation.

 

HEALTH CARE LEADERSHIP TEAM

Carol Brauer, Bright Star Home Care Agency
Al Castro, United Community Center
Alexis Eastman, UW Health Physician
Maureen Palomino, Veterans Administration Hospital
Stephanie Houston, WAI-Mil
Carla Lundeen, Inclusa
Anne Sadowska, Sacred Heart Hospital
Valerie Schend, UW School of Pharmacy
Joy Schmidt, Dane County ADRC
Mark Van Etten, Spooner Health
Christopher Koeppl, Ascension Health
Joelle Milikin, Ascension Health

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

Cindy Carlsson, MD, Wisconsin Alzheimer's Institute,

 Carey Gleason, Wisconsin Alzheimer's Disease Research Center

Kristen Felten, Department of Health Services

 

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