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
Language Enriched Exercise Plus Socialization
Staying active and being engaged in your community is important when you have early memory loss or dementia. Do you know someone or do you yourself have early memory loss that may be related to dementia or dementia-like symptoms? Do you still want to remain active and engaged in your community? The ADRC of Southwest Wisconsin is offering a program called LEEPS in Grant, Green, Iowa, and Lafayette counties.
LEEPS (Language Enriched Exercise Plus Socialization) is a program for individuals with Alzheimer’s disease, other dementias, or dementia-like symptoms who are living at home or the home of a family member. The individuals with the symptoms are paired with a volunteer from their community. They meet with each other twice a week to exercise and go on outings in the community for volunteer activities and social enjoyment. They also participate in cognitive stimulation activities. The experiences are individualized for each participant. Participants are engaged physically, cognitively, and socially with the LEEPS program!
This is a great opportunity for family caregivers to take time for themselves while the individual with dementia is participating in LEEPS.
Enrollment: To enroll in the LEEPS program you must have dementia or dementia-like symptoms, be living at home, willing and able to participate in individualized exercise/activity, and willing to engage in social outings with a volunteer.
VOLUNTEERS, we are always looking for you to be a part of this great program! It is a rewarding experience in which you have the opportunity to improve the quality of life of someone living with dementia. It will have a profound impact on you!
Memory Care Connections
Are you caring for a loved one with dementia at home? Caring for someone with dementia can be challenging at times and having a support system to help you is very important. Memory Care Connections is a program that could be helpful for you in caring for a loved one with dementia by helping you establish a support system.
It is an evidence-based caregiver support program for individuals caring for and living with a loved one with dementia. It helps caregivers in providing care to their loved one at home while maintaining their own health and well-being. The goal of the program is to provide knowledge and support to people caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease or a related dementia. When caregivers receive the support and services they need, the person with dementia also benefits.
The Dementia Care Specialist can provide consultation to individuals providing care to a loved one and their families by:
- Assessing your situation and discussing your concerns.
- Helping you and your family understand Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias and how the conditions may progress over time.
- Working with you and your family on developing a plan that supports you.
- Discussing strategies, providing coping tools and problem solving skills that will help reduce stress.
- Assisting you in obtaining community resources and supportive services.
- 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.