For Immediate Release                                                                                                                      January 20, 2016

Contact: Rep. Mike Rohrkaste                                                                                                               (608) 266-5719

Task Force Unveils Alzheimer’s and Dementia Legislative Package

Madison The Speaker’s Task Force on Alzheimer’s and Dementia is introducing ten, bipartisan bills to improve the care of those suffering from these diseases by providing community-based resources and education. Alzheimer’s is the 6th leading cause of death in America and the only one in the top ten that can’t be prevented, treated or cured, according to the Alzheimer’s Association.

“This is a serious long-term problem and we need some real solutions to help the growing number of Wisconsinites and their families coping with Alzheimer’s and dementia,” said Task Force Chair Rep. Mike Rohrkaste (R-Neenah). “This legislative package is hopefully just the beginning of our efforts to ensure quality care while keeping costs under control.”

The Wisconsin Cares legislative package includes the following policy initiatives:

-Investing $1 million in respite care
-Expanding the number of dementia care specialists
-Educating caregivers and employers about Alzheimer’s and dementia
-Increasing dementia training for mobile crisis teams

The legislation was developed using the input from experts, caregivers, state officials and community members, many of who attended the six bipartisan task force hearings held around the state.

“It’s important to recognize that Alzheimer’s and dementia already affect so many in Wisconsin and their reach is only expected to grow in the years ahead,” said Task Force Vice-Chair Rep. Diane Hesselbein (D-Middleton). “The bills we are introducing today take important steps to provide for those suffering from these terrible ailments and those who provide for their care.”

These are the first recommendations from lawmakers and more policy initiatives may follow before the task force completes its work. The bills are being released for co-sponsors later today and committee hearings are anticipated within the week.

I want to thank the task force members and the hundreds of individuals who gave us important information and recommendations,” said Rep. Rohrkaste. “I am proud of the work that the committee has done on this issue.”

For more information on the Task Force on Alzheimer’s and Dementia, go to http://legis.wisconsin.gov/2015/committees/assembly/ad/.

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