Purpose: Informal dementia caregiving by family caregivers is a crucial component of the care provided to people living with dementia (PLwD). The numbers of these family caregivers are rapidly increasing at a time, when in the U.S., the availability of formal caregivers is decreasing. Currently, health professional training focuses on providing care to PLwD and not necessarily addressing the caregiver’s needs, and this training takes place within professional silos and not interprofessionally. This study sought to address this issue by: 1) examining the current state of interprofessional dementia caregiving trainings in the US; and 2) developing a micro-credential curriculum called interprofessional dementia caregiving telehealth community practicum badge suitable for health profession students in order to meet the needs of dementia caregivers in Wisconsin. Methods: A four-phase-embedded approach was used. In the first phase, a scoping review on the current state of interprofessional education regarding caregivers of PLwD was conducted. Next, a team comprised of 6 faculty and staff with expertise in dementia care and caregiving, 2 dementia care specialists (DCS), and 2 family caregivers provided their expertise and input into developing the components of a micro-credential badge. These components and details were then assessed/revised based on interviews with 11 additional family caregivers, DCSs, and community leaders. Finally, the micro-credential interprofessional dementia caregiving curriculum was developed. Results: The micro-credential curriculum was named the Interprofessional Dementia Caregiving Telehealth Community Practicum Badge. The badge requires that an interprofessional team of students to: 1) complete five self-directed modules; 2) conduct initial virtual caregiver home visit to assess needs; 3) hold a virtual meeting with an Aging Disability Resource Center (ADRC) specialist to acquire the resources; 4) develop a customized Caregiver Health and Wellness Resource Packet; 5) hold a second/final virtual home visit to present the packet to the caregiver; 6) conduct a debrief session with all involved parties; and 7) finalize/submit the Packet along with reflection as a Capstone Project. Conclusion The micro-credential badge curriculum was piloted in the spring of 2022 while incorporating findings from this study. The completion of the interprofessional dementia caregiving badge counts towards the UW IPE Path of Distinction

Author Bio(s)

Susan Wenker, PT, PhD, MS is the Director of UW-Madison DPT program and an Assistant Professor (CHS) int the Department of Family Medicine and Community Health. She earned her BS at UW-La Crosse and her Masters and PhD degrees at UW-Madison through the School of Education.

Chinh Kieu is a project coordinator and admin support at the Center for Interprofessional Practice and Education at the University of Wisconsin-Madison (UW-Madison) while completing the Doctor of Pharmacy student at the UW-Madison, School of Pharmacy. Chinh is passionate about advocating for Interprofessional training and promoting interdisciplinary educational opportunities for healthcare and professional students.

Kristen Felten, BA, MSW began working in the field of dementia care in 1996 as a front line staff member in an assisted living facility. In October of 2010, Kristen shifted from resource center development to the Office on Aging with a new focus on policy regarding Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias, and she is now the Department’s Dementia Specialist.

Kathleen O’Toole Smith is an Outreach Specialist at the Wisconsin Alzheimer’s Institute (WAI), School of Medicine and Public Health, University of Wisconsin-Madison. Kathleen joined the WAI in 2013 to lead a statewide outreach program, designed to discover and share innovative dementia friendly best practices, resources and information to benefit people living with dementia and their caregivers.

Dr. Schroepfer, PhD, MSW, MA, is a professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Social Work. She is a recipient of the Hartford Geriatric Social Work Faculty Scholar Award, and serves on several national boards including the Association for Gerontology Education in Social Work and the NQF Geriatric and Palliative Care Standing Committee.

Dr. Hossein Khalili, BScN, MScN, PhD, FNAP is an internationally recognized scholar, expert, and leader in the field of interprofessional education and collaborative practice (IPECP). He serves as the Director of the University of Wisconsin Centre of Interprofessional Practice and Education, the President of InterprofessionalResearch.Global (IPR.Global), an Adjunct Research Professor at Western University, and a Member of AIHC Program Committee. Dr. Khalili also serves in the Editorial Boards of the Journal of Interprofessional care and HIE&P Journal


The authors wish to acknowledge funding from the Centers for Disease Control, collaborations with the Wisconsin Department of Health Services, and the caregivers and dementia care specialists who participated in curriculum development.



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