Dementia is life-changing and expensive - Every 66 seconds someone in the U.S. develops Alzheimer’s disease. It not only changes their life and the lives of those around them, but substantially adds to the cost of health and long-term care, especially public funding. This trend is not slowing down anytime soon.
Dementia in Wisconsin is on the rise - In Wisconsin we estimate 115,000 individuals 65 and older are living with some form of clinically-diagnosable dementia. By 2040 the population is expected to grow to 240,000; this does not account for the estimated 5% of individuals younger than 65. The care and treatment of persons with dementia is now being described as a public health emergency.
Dementia Care Specialists save taxpayers money - DCSs housed within ADRCs help persons with dementia stay in their communities. They provide specialized education to ADRC staff, providers and families, in-home consultation, volunteer development, and community coalition building. The purpose of the program is to positively impact the lives of the individuals and families living with dementia as well as improve the sustainability of our long-term care system by reducing or eliminating their need for public funding. Each day an individual remains in the community outside expensive institutional care saves taxpayers $161 per day or $58,925 annually (Elder Benefit Specialist fiscal impact calculation). The DCS program is a wise and sound investment of public dollars.