University of Wisconsin–Madison

CARE Dementia Friendly Toolkit launch and dissemination support

Over the past year, the School of Nursing’s Center for Aging Research and Education (CARE) has worked with SoN research and clinical faculty to develop four short videos and six role play simulations. These training materials are designed to help people in different roles — from health care providers to librarians to retail staff — better communicate with and advocate for older adults who are living with dementia or cognitive impairment, as well as their family caregivers.

The Evjue Foundation, the charitable arm of the Capital Times newspaper, recently awarded CARE $10,000 to make the dementia friendly training materials freely available to 100 community groups.

On June 21 from 5 to 7 pm, Cooper Hall will host the launch of CARE’s new “Dementia Friendly Toolkit: Role Play Simulations for Care and Community Settings.” All who are interested are invited to join us to view short videos and experience role play simulations included in our toolkit. Please RSVP at go.wisc.edu/nt664t

CARE developed the dementia friendly training materials after hearing from family caregivers of people with dementia that medical appointments were among their biggest challenges. We surveyed more than 160 caregivers, health care providers, community organizations, and housing and service providers to ensure that the scenarios in our training materials would reflect real needs.

In Wisconsin, the number of people living with dementia in the year 2040 is expected to be more than double the number from 2015. Some 70 percent of people with dementia are care for in the community by family members and friends.

Dementia friendly community efforts — including excellent groups in Dane County and across Wisconsin — engage in outreach and education so that people with dementia and their family caregivers are met with understanding and support in their communities. Sadly, the stigma still surrounding dementia can make people less willing to leave their homes — and social isolation can accelerate cognitive decline.

This post was authored by Diane Farsetta on 06/07/2018.