Wisconsin proposed S.B. 470, which will create a Dementia Specialist Certification program for nurse aides and other care providers who coordinate resident activities. The program would include instruction and competency evaluation.

Section146.43 calls out the following requirements for dementia specialist certification:

  • (1) ELIGIBILITY FOR CERTIFICATION. The department shall certify as a dementia specialist any of the following persons who successfully complete an instructional program under sub. (4);

  • (2) RENEWAL OF CERTIFICATE. A certificate as a dementia specialist under sub. (1) is valid for 24 months from the date the certificate is issued by the department. A person who is certified as a dementia specialist may renew the certificate by providing proof to the department of completion, every 24 months, of 4 hours of continuing education, as defined by the department by rule. 

  • (3) PROGRAM CURRICULUM. (a) The department shall promulgate rules establishing standards for the curriculum of an instructional program that shall include instruction in all of the following:

            1. Understanding the signs and symptoms of the various forms of dementia and the possible
                variations in care needs among individuals affected by the various forms of dementia.

            2. How to approach, observe, listen to, and communicate with, an individual with dementia.

            3. Recognizing pain in an individual with dementia.

            4. Skills and techniques for encouraging purposeful activities to provide holistic care intended to
                promote optimal life experiences for persons with dementia.
            5. Understanding the needs of an individual with dementia, how to develop a trusting relationship
                within the challenges of the effects of dementia, and how to avoid and manage behaviors that 
                may be harmful to the individual or others.

            6. Communication skills necessary to communicate with coworkers, professionals, and families
                 regarding individuals with dementia.

            7. Skills necessary to effectively advocate for the needs and interests of persons with dementia.

            8. Developing care plans to assist individuals with dementia in experiencing the highest possible
                quality of life.  
            9. Techniques for effective problem solving.


            (a) The department shall approve instructional programs for dementia specialists that apply for 
            approval and that satisfy the standards promulgated by rule under sub. (3).

            (b) The department shall review the curriculum of each approved instructional program at least  
            every 24 months following the date of approval to determine whether the program continues to
            satisfy the standards for approval.

Click here for more information about Wisconsin S.B. 470.

CPI Training Can Help
Our Dementia Capable Care training helps your entire memory care team work together more cohesively and consistently to deliver a higher standard of dementia care. We offer one- and two-day training options for therapists and care partners, and a three-day train-the-trainer program. When this compassionate, results-oriented approach is embraced and implemented, staff attitudes shift, confidence soars, and quality of life improves for dementia clients and their families.

Consultation Available!
With extensive experience in cognitive habilitation and memory care, we offer expertise to help dementia care professionals, therapy providers, home health agencies, adult day care, and long-term care facilities achieve their goals. Available to consult on a wide range of projects, we help improve professional skills, enhance programs or services, work in concert with all stakeholders to develop a state-of the-art memory care facility, and much more. We can help you implement the Warchol Best-Abilities Care ModelSM at your facility.