Dementia Care Specialist (DCS)
The Aging and Disability Resource Center of Southwest Wisconsin was awarded funding to implement a Dementia Care Specialist Program as part of the Dementia-Capable Wisconsin Initiative that was prompted by the Wisconsin Department of Health Services, Division of Long Term Care. This program has three goals:
- + Assist individuals and families living with dementia to continue to be active and remain in their homes for as long as they choose.
- + Support the staff within the ADRC and county programs to be better prepared to support individuals with dementia and their family caregivers.
- + Be a catalyst to create dementia friendly communities, which includes businesses, employers, local organizations, etc. and raise awareness of the unique needs of people with dementia and their families.
How can the Dementia Care Specialist Help?
Anyone affected by dementia (at any age) can contact the Dementia Care Specialist. The DCS is here to support those that:
- Have dementia or are concerned they may have symptoms.
- Are caring for someone with dementia.
- Are a community member who wants to support individuals with dementia, or are concerned about a friend with symptoms.
- Are a business owner or leader looking to learn more about dementia friendly communities.
Support and Services for Individuals & Families
Boost Your Brain and Memory
Boost Your Brain & Memory is an 8-week, multi-faceted, whole person program offering a unique approach to brain fitness.
Program participants learn practices to help them live a healthier lifestyle, remember things better, be more organized, pay closer attention, and regulate their emotions. The flexibility of the program makes it useful to anyone!
This is an instructor led program. Each of eight sessions includes a video segment and follow-up exercises with memory tips, key concepts, and more. The instructor’s guide offers step-by-step instructions for leading discussions and ensures participants learn key points for improving brain health and memory. Additional participant workbook activities also allow the instructor to engage participants in brain healthy behaviors and goal-setting.
Powerful Tools for Caregivers
Powerful Tools for Caregivers is a 6-week educational program to provide family caregivers with tools to increase their self-care and confidence.
Research studies find high rates of depression and anxiety among caregivers and increased vulnerability to health problems. Caregiver frequently cite restriction of personal activities and social life problems. They often feel they have not control over events, and feeling powerless has a significant negative impact on caregivers’ physical and emotional health.
In the six 2 1/2 hour classes, caregivers develop a wealth of self-care tools to : reduce personal stress; change negative self-talk; communicate their needs to family members and healthcare/service providers; communicate more effectively in challenging situations; recognize the messages in their emotions and deal with difficult feelings; plus make tough caregiving decisions.
- Cognitive Screens
- Connections to Support Groups & Other Programs
- Connections to Resources & Services
- Assistance with Care Planning
- Connections to Memory Cafés
- Dementia Capable Emergency Response
Dementia Friendly Communities
Dementia Friendly Businesses
The Dementia Care Specialist can help your business become dementia friendly. This includes training your staff and suggestions for environmental changes.
Increased Civic Awareness
The Dementia Care Specialist welcomes opportunities to provide outreach to educate organizations and community members about dementia, the Dementia Care Specialist program, and dementia friendly communities.
More About DCS Services
Contacting the DCS
You can contact the DCS by calling 877-794-2372 and connecting with your local ADRC. Whitney can also be reached via Facebook at : facebook.com/adrcswwi.dementia.
About the DCS
Whitney Thompson is originally from Southwest Wisconsin. She first became interested in dementia and supporting individuals impacted by the conditions when she worked as a caregiver. She cared for people affected by dementia and they spurred a passion inside of her to continue to support these individuals and raise awareness about the conditions. She has earned her Master of Public Health in Community Health Education, Bachelor of Science in Marketing, and she is a Certified Health Education Specialist. During the pursuit of her master’s degree she focused on dementia and centered her graduate project on training caregivers of individuals with dementia. Whitney is now serving Grant, Green, Iowa, and Lafayette counties as the Dementia Care Specialist at the ADRC of Southwest Wisconsin.
What about confidentiality?
All files and correspondence are kept locked, and your conversations with the Dementia Care Specialist will remain confidential. You may be asked to sign a release of information so the Dementia Care Specialist can inquire on your behalf.
What is the cost?
There is no charge for the services that the Dementia Care Specialist provides.