Improving life for people with dementia in Wisconsin is the goal of three bills signed into law Tuesday by Governor Scott Walker.
“Strengthening Wisconsin communities is a major priority for us as we continue to move our state forward,” Governor Walker said. “The legislation we’re signing into law today helps us create dementia-friendly communities throughout the state by providing greater tools for caretakers, health professionals, and law enforcement. We’re happy to work with the Department of Health Services to ensure Wisconsinites with dementia receive the proper care and support needed as well as resources for their caretakers to ease their financial and emotional burden.”
A bill signing ceremony took place at Green Bay’s Options for Independent Living, a group that helps the elderly and disabled live on their own.
“I want to thank all of my colleagues on the task force, as well as my colleagues in the Senate and Governor Walker for approving these bills,” said Wisconsin State Rep. Mike Rohrkaste (R-Neenah). “This is a tremendous step forward in the fight against Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia in Wisconsin.”
Assembly Bill 787 will add $1 million to the Alzheimer’s Family and Caregiver Support Program (AFCSP) for respite care. This program will also now be available to the Native American tribes in Wisconsin.
Assembly Bill 790 will increase training grants to local mobile crisis teams by $250,000. These grants will help crisis teams train to become dementia-capable and therefore better able to respond to those living with dementia in crisis situations.
Assembly Bill 786 requires the Department of Health Services to propose a pilot program for a more specialized dementia crisis unit and present that proposal to the appropriate committees in the legislature. This unit would serve those living with dementia who are in a crisis situation.
“We want those living with dementia and their caregivers to know that although there is currently no cure for dementia, there is still hope,” said Rohrkaste. “The task force and I are proud of what we accomplished this session and I look forward to further advancing this agenda in the future.”
Contributed by Jeff Flynt, WTAQ.