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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.

Common questions include:
  • What is the difference between Alzheimer’s and other dementia?
  • What are the warning signs that I have dementia?
  • How do I talk to my doctor and where do I go for diagnosis?
  • What can I expect if there is a diagnosis?
  • What are the stages of the disease and what do they mean?
  • How do I talk to my family about my concerns?
  • How can I decrease my risk for developing dementia?
  • How can I slow my decline and live well if I have mild cognitive impairment?
  • How do I talk with friends who are pulling away from my husband because of his dementia?
  • How do I know when it’s time to get more help? I’m a caregiver and I’m exhausted.
  • How do I cope when my loved one is repeating things and calling ten times a day?
  • When is it time to take away the keys? I’m worried about my dad’s safety.
  • How do I tell my husband I’m moving him into a memory care unit?
  • What should we do when Mom is no longer safe at home and she needs to be moved?
  • How do I deal with siblings in denial about my mom’s condition?
  • What should I do if I have dementia when I’m young and still working?
  • Where do I go when I’m struggling and need help and resources?

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

PODCAST: Support After Diagnosis: Dementia Care Specialists and Dementia Friendly Communities
Feb 27th, 2018 by Dementia Matters

After a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease or other dementia, patients and caregivers can turn to local agencies and associations for education and support. Dementia friendly communities represent an international movement to help businesses, the general public, and government agencies better recognize and support people living with dementia. Guest: Joy Schmidt, dementia care specialist, Aging and Disability Resource Center of Dane County
⤷ Click here to listen to the Podcast.


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 2018 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 Care Connections logoMemory Care Connections: Memory Care Connections is an evidence-based support program for family caregivers that helps them provide care for their loved ones while maintaining their own health and well-being. Family consultations are available in the ADRC office or in a location that is most comfortable for you.

Assistance with Care Planning: Dementia Care Specialists can help to address your current situation and plan for the future, including advance care plans and connections to legal and financial planning experts.

Connections to Support Groups and Other Programs: Dementia Care Specialists are knowledgeable about all of the opportunities and resources available in your community and can help you find information and make connections with the services and programs that best fit your needs.


Dementia Friendly logoDementia 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.
⤷ Click here to read the 2017 Dementia Friendly Community Annual Report.

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.

Caregiver Support Groups: Caregiver Support Groups provide a place to connect with other caregivers who truly understand what you are going through. A Caregiver Support Group offers a safe place for caregivers, family and friends of persons with dementia to meet and develop a mutual support system.
⤷ Click here for a list of local Caregiver Support Groups in Dane County.

Need a speaker for your group or organization?

Joy 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.

⤷ Check out our Dementia Friendly page

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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

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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.