Wisconsin task force aims to improve outcome for Alzheimer’s and dementia patients

47 million people are living with dementia around the world, and cases could double in 20 years

47 million people are living with dementia around the world, and cases could double in 20 years. A new report released by Alzheimer’s Disease International is asking governments adopt better treatment for people living with the disease and a task force dealing with the issue has just been developed in Wisconsin.

The Task Force on Alzheimer’s and Dementia is a bipartisan initiative focused on revamping care throughout Wisconsin and increasing funding. Administrators at Hillview Health Care in La Crosse said extra funds would certainly help improve the quality of life for patients with Dementia.

Peter Eide has run the gamut when it comes to jobs in senior care.

“Gave baths, I passed the pills I fed people, and I worked my way up,” Eide said.

Now serving as the administrator at Hillview Health Care, he said his favorite part of the job still is interacting with seniors. And that interaction is key to the wellbeing of residents especially those with dementia.

“Keeping them engaged, I personally feel can help slow down the process a little bit, and they wouldn’t be isolated or depressed,” Eide said. “Just because they have dementia they can still enjoy their activities from the past.”

Hillview plans to take that philosophy a step further by creating rooms that look more like home, and hiring more staff, but that takes money.

“Nursing home funding is very tight and the government readily admits they under fund us, and so anymore funding would be of great benefit,” Eide said.

Especially considering 70 percent of Hillview’s residents have dementia.

“This is only a growing problem,” Eide said.

As life expectancy grows doctors said we can expect dementia cases everywhere to grow.

“Age is the single most important risk factor to develop dementia,” said Dr, Cony Santillan, a neurologist at Gundersen Health System.

Eide said more attention and funding will educated staff and better facilities. And he hopes the Task Force on Alzheimer’s and Dementia will help accomplish that.

“No cure is on the horizon so to give everybody, a happy and joyful life, and meaningful life and enjoyment would be how we would like to meet the needs of our residents,” Eide said.

Members of the newly formed task force don’t have a specific funding amount in mind. Representatives say they think even a little bit of money can help develop impactful programs.