Dementia Capable Communities

Creating a Dementia Friendly Milwaukee County


What is a Dementia Capable County?

A community that builds a framework to support and takes responsibility for enlarging the beneficial effect of services for persons with dementia and their caregiver.

How are we Developing a Dementia Capable County?

In Milwaukee County, the essential components center on collaborative service delivery and advocacy. The Milwaukee County Department on Aging, Alzheimer Association, Wisconsin Alzheimer’s Institute, and the Milwaukee Public Museum “Spark” Program, have partnered to provide the coordination and support needed to develop a dementia capable community. Partnership Memory Café’s, Memory Connection Centers, Memory Care Connections and the LEEPS Program are viewed as cornerstones in the development.

Collectively, these programs provide public awareness, promote early detection, provide best practice training and education for person-centered care, create an environment that reduces challenging behaviors, define quality care for dementia care facilities, create dementia friendly businesses, build crisis capacity: mobility crisis team, emergency placement facilities, successful transition management, sheriff registry, and wandering program (project lifesaver).

What is a Milwaukee County Partnership Memory Café?

Memory Cafés are places where persons with memory loss can share fun and laughter with their care partners and friends in a setting free from awkwardness and stigma. They are designed to make quality of life measurably better by easing the fear and isolation associated with dementia.

Partnership Cafés must:

· Be in the community.  An everyday place that a person would have frequented before they were diagnosed. (ie. coffee shop, restaurant, pub, etc.)

  • Include the partners. Milwaukee County Department on Aging, the Alzheimer’s Association, and the Milwaukee Public Museum Spark Program will assist with   coordination of activities at the Memory Café.

· Allow staff training. All Café staff will receive Dementia Friendly/Dementia Capable training provided by Milwaukee County Dementia Care Specialist and the Alzheimer’s Association.

· Provide a safe and comfortable area. The meeting area will be reviewed and approved by the Milwaukee County Dementia Care Specialist and/or the partner organizations (ex. area that can be designated for a private party, ability to adjust lighting or music at the request of the group, etc.)

· Receive support from local government and community leaders. An agreement will be made with local government officials and community leaders to support the establishment of a Milwaukee County Partnership Memory Café in their community.         

· Designate a dedicated community volunteer. The volunteer will assist in taking RSVP’s for meetings, collect feedback, and attend all meetings. A consistent community volunteer is an integral key component at all Café gatherings.

· Not be viewed as a Support Group. The Partnership Memory Café’s are provided as a means of social interaction.


What is a  Memory Connection Center (HUB)?

Memory Connections Centers, also referred to as (HUBS), are locally placed in Milwaukee County communities. Each community (HUB) is created as a partnership with Milwaukee County Department on Aging, Wisconsin Alzheimer’s Institute, Alzheimer’s Association and the local community leadership.  The Memory Connection Centers provide caregivers with the knowledge, resources, support and programs necessary to prepare and/or support families and individuals for the challenges associated with dementia. HUBS will offer information about peer support groups, counseling sessions, educational workshops and wellness programs. Whether individuals are just beginning to notice symptoms or adjusting to the day-to-day challenges or ending their caregiving journey, Memory Connection Center (HUBS) help support each community with the resources to properly equip individual’s and caregivers combating the disease.

What is the LEEPS Program?

The LEEPS Program is a Language Enriched Exercise Plus Socialization program (LEEPS) for people with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias.  A LEEPS volunteer is paired with a participant and performs simple language activities and basic exercises with people affected with mild to moderate memory loss. These activities are provided in the participant’s home and/or community. This evidence based program has proven results.

As a participant with LEEPS, a person with memory loss works one-on-one with a trained volunteer to:

  • Strengthen & improve flexibility through exercise
  • Keep their mind active with mental activities
  • Get out and spend time doing enjoyable things
  • Give back to the community as a volunteer
  • Work to improve mood and overall fitness

Through LEEPS, the community may:

· Learn more about memory loss & become aware of the importance of early diagnosis

· Create a healthier community environment by modeling volunteerism

· Reduce the stigma associated with memory loss

· Increase community resources






What is Memory Care Connections?

Memory Care Connections is a program for caregivers caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease or other related dementia. The goal of the Memory Care Connections program is to provide knowledge and support to people caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease or a related dementia.  When caregivers receive the support and services they need, the person with dementia also benefits.  Programs like Memory Care Connections can reduce stress and be effective in delaying the need for nursing home care.

A Memory Care Consultant will:

· Assess your situation and discuss your concerns.

· Help you and your family understand Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias and how the disease may progress over time.

· Work with you and your family on developing a plan that supports you.

· Discuss strategies, provide coping tools and problem solving skills that will help reduce stress.

· Assist you in obtaining community resources and supportive services.

· Be just a phone call away.

Dementia Care Specialist

The Dementia Care Specialists in Milwaukee County assist in the development of dementia friendly communities. They are knowledgeable about all of the opportunities and resources available in the community and can help connect the individual with dementia and their caregiver(s) to services and resources to keep older adults living independently in their community. Dementia Care Specialists can provide cognitive screening, connect individuals to programs (LEEPS, Memory Care Connections, Memory Cafes, etc.) and connect individuals to research and/or support groups.


To contact the Dementia Care Specialists in Milwaukee County call:

Bashir Easter at (414) 289-5792 or email

Andrea Garr at (414) 289-6014 or email




Partnership Organizations


This site is powered by the Northwoods Titan Content Management System