Dementia Care System Redesign - Frequently Asked Questions


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Dementia Care System Redesign

Frequently Asked Questions

Background: Department of Health Services Secretary Kitty Rhoades is committed to changing the way state residents with Alzheimer's disease and other dementias are cared for in Wisconsin. The mission is to provide appropriate, safe and cost-effective care throughout the course of the disease.

Why does Secretary Rhoades want to change the dementia care system?

Alzheimer's disease and related dementias are already straining health resources in the state. As the baby boom generation ages, more Wisconsin residents will be in need of dementia care, yet they will want that care catered as much as possible to the individual. Secretary Rhoades believes there is no time like the present to begin discussing ways Wisconsin can better treat people with Alzheimer’s disease or related dementias.

How was the Dementia-Capable Plan created?

In October of 2013, the Department convened a Dementia Care Stakeholder Summit that brought together 33 key stakeholders with diverse perspectives to identify concrete ways the Department and its partners can work together to make Wisconsin more “dementia-capable” and to identify priorities. From a report from that summit, DHS created a draft Dementia Care System Redesign Plan with a focus on addressing gaps in the current care delivery infrastructure and expanding community and crisis services for people with dementia.

Stakeholders were instrumental in helping DHS create the Dementia Care System Redesign Plan, also known as the Dementia-Capable Wisconsin Plan. Comments made through a Stakeholder Survey, as well as those provided directly to Department leaders, were reviewed and considered as the Plan was revised. Some of the comments were incorporated into the Plan and others will be included in implementation.

Where is DHS in the process of redesigning the system of dementia care?

DHS has created five implementation teams to focus on the five broad categories described in the Plan, including:

  1. Community Awareness and Services
  2. Facility-Based Long-Term Care
  3. Crisis Stabilization
  4. Dementia Care Guiding Principles and Training
  5. Research and Data Collection

Each of the teams has created one or more workgroups and associated workplans for carrying out specific strategies outlined in the Plan. The teams/workgroups are at various stages of moving forward with the workplans and including stakeholders in implementation activities.

How are stakeholders engaged in implementation of the Plan?

Stakeholders are currently involved in implementation in the following ways:

  • Each of the implementation teams or their workgroups includes stakeholders as either members or consultants/advisors;
  • Stakeholders will have opportunities to participate in periodic regional meetings sponsored by DHS. The meetings will be to provide implementation updates and also ask for stakeholder input on specific topics. The first set of regional meetings is being scheduled in June.
  • Opportunities through the DHS Dementia Capable Wisconsin website:
    • The website will updated at least monthly with reports on implementation activities in the last month and goals for the next. Stakeholders can sign up to receive notices of these updates.
    • A calendar of events on the DHS Dementia-Capable Wisconsin website will be added to keep stakeholders informed of other forums for stakeholders to participate in meetings, conferences, and other educational events related to dementia.
    • Stakeholders can also submit comments and suggestions via the website, which will be forwarded to the implementation teams.
When will the Dementia Care System Redesign be implemented?

The Dementia-Capable Wisconsin Plan includes over 40 strategies. Some of the strategies, such as the Wisconsin Music & Memory Program and a Dementia Friendly Communities chat group through a partner agency, Dementia Friendly Communities in Wisconsin (exit DHS), are already underway. Others, such as the development of additional training opportunities and models for “dementia capable” crisis intervention teams, are in process. You can request regular email updates on the Plan’s progress by signing up for the listserv.

Last Revised: July 30, 2015