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As a partner with county and tribal aging programs, GWAAR is your resource for up-to-date information, training, and technical support to help you provide information and assistance to caregivers and their families.

All counties in Wisconsin receive funds through the National Family Caregiver Support Program (NFCSP) and the Alzheimer’s Family Caregiver Support Program (AFCSP). NFCSP is a federal program through the Older Americans Act and AFCSP is a program exclusive to Wisconsin. While both programs support family and other informal caregivers in caring for their loved ones at home for as long as possible, AFCSP funds are designated for caregivers of people with dementia.


Wisconsin county and tribal aging programs can get AFCSP and NFCSP support and technical assistance by contacting GWAAR’s family caregiver support lead, Jane Mahoney.

The following are resources for county and tribal aging program staff:

NFCSP Information | Grandparents & Relative Caregivers | Forms | Marketing | Education/Support | Coalitions (new page) | Share The Care | Support Groups | AFCSP

Wisconsin Caregiver Support Community Monthly Calls

Each month, professionals who work with caregivers and caregiver support programs are invited to participate in a teleconference/webinar.  This includes county and tribal caregiver coordinators, caregiver coalition members, Powerful Tools for Caregivers leaders and others.  The calls are held the second Monday of the month from 1:00-2:00 pm.  For agendas and call-in information contact Jane Mahoney.  Notes from the monthly calls will be posted below.

Schedule for 2017 Monthly Calls 

October 9, 2017 - Main Topic:  Mental Health and Caregiving
       Recording                 Notes            Mental Health Program Overview                                

September 11, 2017 - Main Topic:  Powerful Tools for Caregivers
        Notes                      Power Point

August 1, 2017 - NFCSP 101 Webinar
Recording                     Power Point

August 7, 2017 - AFCSP 101 Webinar
Recording                Power Point

July 10, 2017 - Main Topic:  SAMS Reporting for Caregiver Services
        Notes                        Power Point

June 12, 2017 - Main Topic:  Support Groups, Caregiver Cafe's and Memory Cafe's
         Notes                       Recording

April 10, 2017 - Main Topic: New and Upcoming Caregiver Programs
         Notes                        Recording

March 13, 2017 - Main Topic:  Expanding Your Program Capacity through Partnership
          Notes                        Recording

February 13, 2017 - Main Topic:  Wisconsin Caregiver Support Outreach and Marketing
Notes                       Recording

January 9, 2017 - Main Topic:  Eat Well, Care Well Nutrition Program
           Notes                       Recording

National Family Caregiver Support Program Information

The National Family Caregiver Support Program (NFCSP) was established in 2000 as an amendment to the Older Americans Act of 1965. Its main purpose is to assist families and other informal caregivers in caring for loved ones at home for as long as possible. Research shows that caregivers experience high levels of emotional, physical, and financial stress which often leads to diminished health of the caregiver. NFCSP funds are given to each county to be used in developing programs and services to support caregivers. A range of services and support should be offered to caregivers and must include the following Five Core Areas:

1. Information to caregivers about available services
2. Assistance to caregivers in gaining access to the services
3. Individual counseling, organization of support groups, and caregiver training
4. Respite care
5. Supplemental services, on a limited basis

Funds and programs from the National Family Caregiver Support Program are intended to assist caregivers. By nature, the services will in turn improve the life of the care receiver, but the main focus of the NFCSP is to support caregivers.

More in-depth information about the National Family Caregiver Support Program can be found on the Administration on Aging Website. A variety of tools, resources, and ideas are available on this Website to assist counties in meeting these core requirements. 

The NFCSP Policy
NFCSP 101 Training
Ideas for Spending Funds
Frequently-Asked Questions
Are You Smarter Than....Policy Game Questions and Answers

Grandparents & Relative Caregivers

Grandparents and Relative Caregivers (GRC) can be served through NFCSP if the caregiver is a relative by blood, marriage, or adoption and:

  • is age 55 or older.
  • is the primary caregiver.
  • lives with the child.
  • the child is under age 19 or is age 19-59 with a disability (cannot be the child’s parent).

These programs are sometimes referred to as Relatives as Parents Programs (RAPP). This is an important group of caregivers that need assistance.

The documents and links below can help you get started!

AARP Grandparenting
Brookdale Foundation Relatives as Parents Program (RAPP)
Grandparenting Today
State Kinship Care Program
Family Law Glossary of Terms 
Sample GRC Resource List

GRC Program Ideas

GRC Programs in Wisconsin
RAPPs in Other States

Documentation & Forms

The distribution of funds for respite care, supplemental services, and other goods and services must be documented in SAMS (Social Assistance Management System) per federal and state guidelines. NFCSP policy also requires an assessment be done on caregivers and their care receivers to determine eligibility for the program. The basic information required that needs to be entered into SAMS can be gathered by using the following forms.

Registration Form - Caregiver  (previously called Caregiver Initial Intake Form)
Assessment Form - Care Recipient  (previously called Care Recipient Initial Intake Form)
SAMS Reference Sheet-2017 revised 6/30/17
NFCSP Data Collection Sheet-2017
Caregiver Needs Assessment Form
Caregiver Self-Assessment
SAMS for Caregiving Services Power Point (from July 10, 2017 Statewide Call)

Marketing Assistance

One of the biggest challenges in assisting family caregivers is finding the caregivers who need help; many of them do not identify themselves as caregivers and some think they don’t need help. And still, others are too overwhelmed by the day to day tasks to take the time to seek out help.

Effective marketing tools are vitally important to reach those caregivers who need help. Distributing brochures and posters to local businesses such as pharmacies, clinics, grocery stores, senior centers, etc., is a great form of outreach. Writing articles for newsletters and local papers can also be an effective way to reach caregivers.  Customizable brochures, posters, ads and articles to increase public awareness of caregiver support programs can be found on the Marketing Toolkit below.

Marketing Toolkit 
Hispanic Resources in Wisconsin
Hmong Resources in Wisconsin
Ideas for Reaching Family Caregivers
Marketing Plan Template
Marketing Plan Brainstorming Worksheet

Share The Care Wisconsin
Serving those with Alzheimer’s/Dementia

Share The Care is a model for establishing a support circle through family, friends, neighbors, community connections and volunteers. This care circle will help you and your loved one live independent and safe, social and active at home and in your community. The Share The Care support circle comes together to coordinate the needs and requests of the person with memory loss, Alzheimer’s or other dementia and their care partner.  You can choose to coordinate your own circle or welcome help from a close friend, family member or Share The Care leader.

To learn more about Share The Care and receive a Share The Care Guidebook contact Joan Litwitz, Share The Care Coordinator at 608-228-0713 or check Share The Care map and listing.  

List of WI STC Stations
Map of WI STC Stations

Caregiver Support and Education

Powerful Tools for Caregivers (PTC) is the most widely-used evidence-based curriculum for caregiver education in the state. The Wisconsin Institute on Healthy Aging (WIHA) provides leader training and technical support for leaders. Caregiver education and support can also be provided via books, DVD's and web-based training.  In addition, there are many apps that can support the work of caregivers.

Caregiver Book List
Caregiver Apps
Caregiver Education and Support

Support Groups are another important way to assist caregivers.  Tips on creating and maintaining effective support groups and meeting topics and materials can be found on the Support Group Toolkit page

Eat Well Care Well  is a Nutrition Education Series for Caregivers, providing an informational handout and 2 recipies to share with caregivers.  Each month focuses on a different nutrition tip that can improve caregivers' health and give them simple recipies to try.

Eat Well, Care Well Brochure

January:  High-Protien Meals in 1 Pot
February:  High-Protein Snacks 
March: High-Protein Breakfast
April:  Quick and Easy Meals
May:  Meals Using Convenience Foods
June:  High Protein, High Calorie
July:  Healthy Salad 
August:  Finger Foods
September:  Fiber
October:  Roasted Veggies
November:  Mindful Eating
December:  Quick Holiday Recipes

Alzheimer's Family Caregiver Support Program Information

The Alzheimer’s Family Caregiver and Support Program (AFCSP) was created by the Wisconsin state legislature in 1985 as a way to provide assistance to families who are caring for a loved one with irreversible dementia at home. The program is available to persons with a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease or other dementia and their caregiver. Their household income must also be less than $48,000/year with allowances for disease-related expenses.

AFCSP Program Management Materials

AFCSP 101 Training
AFCSP 101 Printable Version
AFCSP Policy
Ideas for Spending Extra Funds

Financial Eligibility Instructions and Worksheets

General Information
Financial Eligibility Screen: Worksheet 1
Financial Eligibility Determination: Worksheet 2
Maximum Annual Payment Schedule

AFCSP Outreach and Information

AFCSP Marketing Ideas
Alzheimer's and Dementia Alliance of Wisconsin
Alzheimer's Association


Dementia-Capable Wisconsin Resources

The Wisconsin Department of Health Services, the Alzheimer’s Association of Southeastern Wisconsin, and AARP Wisconsin joined together to help build Dementia Friendly Communities across the state.

Dementia Friendly Communities Toolkit
Dementia Friendly EMPLOYERS Toolkit

Tips for Working Caregivers