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Dementia Information

rear view of young lady with her arm around elderly gentleman

We are dedicated to working within Dane County to bring more awareness to dementia!!

Are you a family caregiver for someone with dementia and need to learn more about the disease and services available?

Do you have questions about how to provide care for someone with dementia?

The Dementia Care Specialist with the Aging and Disability Resource Center (ADRC) of Dane County can help.

Our Dementia Care Specialist can help you with:
  • Getting a diagnosis
  • Understanding a diagnosis of Alheimer's or dementia
  • Understanding memory loss, and what is normal with aging
  • Connecting to resources
  • Learning strategies and coping skills
  • Navigating the system to get the help you need

Watch this interesting video [filmed in Scotland] about Understanding Dementia

Dementia is a general term, NOT a diagnosis. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common disease that causes dementia.

Dementia is a group of symptoms that can include changes in:
  • Memory and Thinking
  • Understanding and Deciding
  • Planning and Organizing
  • Behavior and Personality
  • Reading, Writing and Speaking
  • Movement and Balance


Memory screens: The Dementia Care Specialist and ADRC Information & Assistance Specialists are qualified to provide memory screens. We can come to your home or meet somewhere comfortable for you and your family. We can answer your questions and connect you to resources.
⤷ Click here for 2019 Memory Screening Sessions

LEEPS is now Brain and Body FitnessNumerous studies show that keeping active physically, mentally, and socially helps people with dementia live independently for a longer period of time. For some, it can help slow the decline in abilities. Brain & Body Fitness is an exercise and cognitive stimulation program for people in the early to middle stages of Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia.
⤷ Click here for the Brain & Body Fitness Brochure.

Music and Memory logoMusic & Memory: The Dane County public library system is pleased to offer the Music & Memory program to the community. It is estimated that 70A80% of people living with dementia, live in their homes in our communities. Offering the Music & Memory program provides a valuable opportunity for library patrons who have dementia, or are caring for someone with dementia, to use the program.
⤷ Click here for a list of the libraries that offer music and memory in Dane County.

Memory Cafés: A memory café is a meeting place for anyone who is experiencing beginning changes in memory. It can be a fun way to connect with others who are dealing with the same issues. The intent is for both the person and their family or friends to come together in a relaxed and social environment to connect with one another. Each memory café is unique as the participants are encouraged to make it their own.

The "Business As Usual" Memory Café at Common Ground in Middleton will open Tuesday August 14th from 9 am - 11:30 am. It will be held every 2nd Tuesday of the Month from 9 am - 11:30 am.

⤷ Click here for a list of local Memory Cafés in Dane County.


We define caregiver as the person who most often helps the person with dementia and is not paid to do so. Professional care providers are paid to give care. They tend to have more limited roles, and are not discussed in detail here.

Caregivers may be partners, family members, or close friends. Most often, they’re not trained for the caregiver job. Many times, they’re the lifeline of the person with dementia.

Caregivers have many roles. These roles change as the individual’s needs change during the various progressions of dementia. Today a lot of dementia care is being done at home. As a caregiver, you have a huge influence – both positive and negative – on how the individual with dementia deals with their illness. Your can help them stick with a demanding treatment plan and take other steps to cope as the dementia progresses.

⤷ Click here to go to our Caregiver Support Page.


Dementia Friendly logo Dementia Friendly Communities: The Dementia Care Specialist works with communities in Dane County to raise awareness about people with dementia and their needs. Libraries, city services, businesses, churches, and other organizations form coalitions to address the issues and learn better ways to serve those with dementia and their families. Improved communication helps increase compassion and promote involvement in the program. To find out about initiatives in your community contact us.

Let’s make Dane County dementia friendly, having communites prepared to embrace those living with dementia and their care partners. This will yield social capital far beyond services for individuals with dementia.

The people of Dane County are coming together to support their families, friends, and neighbors living with dementia. Whether someone lives in a small town or a large city, whether they are young or old, anyone can get involved in helping their community to become dementia friendly.

⤷ Check out our Dementia Friendly page

Caregiver Memory Kits

Memory Kits are totes filled with themed items for caregivers of people living with dementia to create special moments, engage the brain, and help unlock memories.
Some examples include:

Memory Kits

Kits are available at: Monona Library, Sun Prairie Colonial Club, Mt. Horeb Library, Cottage Grove Memory Café, Verona Senior Center, Waunakee Senior Center

Need a speaker for your group or organization?

Joy SchmidtJoy Schmidt, Dane County Dementia Care Specialist, is a locally known speaker on topics like brain health; Alzheimer’s and other dementia; warning signs; caregiving; dementia friendly communities, and more. She provides interactive and enjoyable programs to help your group learn about these subjects and the resources available in your community.

You may contact Joy by calling (608) 240-7400 or via email at

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ADRC Mission Statement
To support seniors, adults with disabilities, their families and caregivers by providing useful information, assistance and education on community services and long-term care options and by serving as the single entry point for publicly funded long-term care services while at all times respecting the rights, dignity and preference of the individual.
ADCR Hours of Operation
Monday through Friday
7:45 am – 4:30 pm
*After-hours appointments are available upon request
ADRC Contact information
Toll-Free: 855-417-6892
Phone: 608-240-7400
Fax: 608-240-7401
2865 N. Sherman Avenue
Northside Town Center
Madison, WI 53704

View ADRC in a larger map

Click here to get directions to the ADRC

RESOURCE WISE is our ADRC quarterly newsletter. This newsletter provides valuable information and timely tips to our Dane County community.

Click here to read the lastest issue.

A memory screen is a wellness tool that helps identify possible changes in memory and cognition. It creates a baseline of where a person is at so future changes can be monitored. Memory Screening can be conducted at the ADRC, or we can visit your home.
Call (608) 240-7400 to schedule a memory screen.