Dementia Care Specialist Program

What is a dementia care specialist?

An older couple views content on a laptop while receiving assistanceThe mission of the Dementia Care Specialist Program is to support people with dementia and their caregivers in order to ensure the highest quality of life possible while living at home. In order to accomplish this mission, the dementia care specialists (DCSs) have four goals:

  1. Provide free information and assistance to adults with memory or cognitive concerns, or who have been given a dementia diagnosis. They can help with:
  • Independence. Dementia care specialists are local experts on Alzheimer's disease and other dementias. They can help connect you with all of the opportunities available in your community to keep you active and involved.
  • Memory screening. Dementia care specialists and other staff members at the aging and disability resource center (ADRC) or tribal agency perform memory screens. A memory screen is a tool that helps identify possible memory and cognitive changes. Like a blood pressure screening, this tool is only an indicator. The dementia care specialist may advise a follow-up with a doctor about memory and cognition.
  • Research opportunities. Dementia care specialists can connect you to research studies that attempt to further understand the causes and possible treatments for Alzheimer's disease and other dementia.
  • Enrichment opportunities. Some dementia care specialists provide specific activities and programs that connect people with dementia to music, art, nature, and social activities.
  1. Provide information and support to family members and friends who are caregivers, such as:
  • Assistance with care planning. Dementia care specialists can help to address your current situation and plan for the future, including advance care plans and connections to legal and financial planning experts.
  • Connections to support groups and respite. Dementia care specialists know about all of the opportunities and resources available in your community and can help you find information and make connections.
  • Support through programming. Dementia care specialists run support programs to assist family caregivers in providing care for their loved ones at home while maintaining their own health and well-being.

Elderly Asian couple smiling together

  1. Help develop dementia-friendly communities where people with dementia can remain active and safe, and caregivers can feel supported. Dementia-friendly communities include:
  • Memory cafes. Dementia care specialists create and support memory cafes. A memory cafe is a meeting place for anyone who has begun to experience changes in memory. It can be a fun way to connect with others who are dealing with the same issues. The intent is for people with memory or cognitive issues and their family or friends to come together in a relaxed and social environment to connect with one another. Each memory cafe is unique, as the participants are encouraged to make it their own.
  • Dementia-friendly businesses. Dementia care specialists can provide training to a business, organization, or other group to help them understand dementia better and be equipped to respond warmly and effectively when serving people living with dementia and their caregivers.
  • Public presentations and meetings. Dementia care specialists are local experts on Alzheimer's disease and related dementias and can provide interactive, informative presentations on topics including, but not limited to: brain health, dementia, warning signs, caregiving, and dementia-friendly community initiatives.
  • Dementia coalitions. Many dementia care specialists facilitate or support coalitions that bring together people from the community to work on dementia-related initiatives.
  1. Train other staff at the ADRCs and other county and municipal offices to be dementia-capable.
  • Dementia-capable ADRCs and tribal agencies. Dementia care specialists work with ADRC and tribal agency staff to equip them to provide appropriate, competent, and sensitive supports to people with dementia and their caregivers.
  • Dementia-capable county agencies. Dementia care specialists work with veteran service officers, police and sheriff departments, public health departments, transportation departments, and other agencies to ensure that staff members are equipped to respond warmly and effectively when serving people living with dementia and their caregivers.

Program reports summarizing achievements of these goals are available for 2015 through 2017:

Where can I find a dementia care specialist?

Dementia care specialists are employed by ADRCs in select counties. Currently there are 21 dementia care specialists working in ADRCs, covering 34 counties.

Dementia care specialists are also employed by tribal agencies. There are currently three tribal dementia care specialists.

Contact information for ADRCs and tribes with a dementia care specialist is listed below. If your county does not have a dementia care specialist, your county or regional ADRC or tribal aging and disability resource specialist can help.


Aging and Disability Resource Center and Tribal Dementia Care Specialists (DSC) 2018

ADRC Contact Information–Dementia Care Specialists

Ashland County

ADRC of the North (Ashland, Bayfield, Iron, Price and Sawyer)
630 Sanborn Ave.
Ashland, WI 54806
Toll free: 866-663-3607

Barron County

ADRC of Barron, Rusk and Washburn Counties
335 Monroe Ave., Room 100
Barron, WI 54812-1572
Toll free: 888-538-3031

Brown County

ADRC of Brown County
300 S. Adams St,
Green Bay, WI 54301
Phone: 920-448-4300

Crawford County

ADRC of Eagle Country
(Serving Crawford, Juneau, Richland, and Sauk counties)
Prairie du Chien Office
225 N. Beaumont Road, Suite 117
Prairie du Chien, WI 53821
Toll free: 877-794-2372

Dane County

ADRC of Dane County
2865 N. Sherman Ave.
Madison, WI 53704
Toll free: 855-417-6892

Dodge County

ADRC of Dodge County
199 County Road DF, third Floor
Juneau, WI 53039
Toll free: 800-924-6407

Eau Claire County

ADRC of Eau Claire County
721 Oxford Ave., Room 1130
Eau Claire, WI 54703
Toll free: 888-338-4636

Grant County

ADRC of Southwest Wisconsin
(Serving Grant, Green, Iowa, and Lafayette counties)
8820 Highway 35/61 South
Lancaster, WI 53813
Toll free: 877-794-2372

Jefferson County

ADRC of Jefferson County
1541 Annex Road
Jefferson, WI 53549
Toll free: 866-740-2372

Juneau County

ADRC of Eagle Country
(Serving Crawford, Juneau, Richland, and Sauk counties)
Mauston Office
220 E. La Crosse St.
Mauston, WI 53948
Toll free: 877-794-2372

Kenosha County

ADRC of Kenosha County
8600 Sheridan Road
Kenosha, WI 53143
Toll free: 800-472-8008

Kewaunee County

ADRC of the Lakeshore
(Serving Kewaunee and Manitowoc counties)
810 Lincoln St.
Kewaunee, WI 54216
Toll free: 877-416-7083

La Crosse County

ADRC of La Crosse County
300 4th St. North
La Crosse, WI 54601
Toll free: 800-500-3910

Marinette County

ADRC of Marinette County
2500 Hall Ave.
Marinette, WI 54143
Toll free: 888-442-3267

Milwaukee County

Aging Resource Center (ARC) of Milwaukee County
1220 W. Vliet St., Suite 300
Milwaukee, WI 53205
Toll free: 866-229-9695

Ozaukee County

ADRC of Ozaukee County
121 W. Main St.
Port Washington, WI 53704
Toll free: 866-537-4261

Pierce County

ADRC of Pierce County
412 W. Kinne St.
Ellsworth, WI 54011
Toll free: 877-273-0804

Portage County

ADRC of Portage County
1519 Water St.
Stevens Point, WI 54481
Toll free: 866-920-2525

Richland County

ADRC of Eagle Country
(Serving Crawford, Juneau, Richland, and Sauk counties)
Richland Center Office
221 W. Seminary St.
Richland Center, WI 53581
Toll free: 877-794-2372

Rock County

ADRC of Rock County
1900 Center Ave.
Janesville, WI 53546
Toll free: 855-741-3600

Sauk County

ADRC of Eagle Country
(Serving Crawford, Juneau, Richland, and Sauk counties)
Baraboo Office
505 Broadway St.
Baraboo, WI 53913
Toll free: 877-794-2372

St. Croix County

ADRC of St. Croix County
1752 Dorset Lane
New Richmond, WI 54017
Toll free: 800-372-2333

Waukesha County

ADRC of Waukesha County
500 Riverview Ave.
Waukesha, WI 53188
Toll free: 866-677-2372

Winnebago County

ADRC of Winnebago County
220 Washington Ave.
PO Box 2187
Oshkosh, WI 54903-2187
Toll free: 877-886-2372

Tribal Contact Information–Dementia Care Specialists

Menominee Tribe

Department of Aging and Long Term Care
N2222 White Cedar Road
Keshena, WI 54135
Phone: 715-799-5270

Oneida Nation

Oneida Community Health Center
Oneida Nation
525 Airport Drive
Oneida, WI 54155
Phone: 920-869-2711

St. Croix Chippewa Tribe

St. Croix Tribal Aging Unit
24663 Angeline Avenue
Webster, WI 54893
Toll free: 800-236-2195, ext. 5116

Last Revised: May 17, 2019