Every year, ADRCs and Tribal aging and disability resource specialist (ADRS) programs log hundreds of thousands of contacts with customers around the state. In 2022, they served over 141,000 unique customers and made over 535,000 direct contacts. In the same year, clients of elder benefit specialists and disability benefit specialists accessed over $224 million worth of services, helping stabilize household budgets and lessen reliance on local crisis and emergency services.
ADRC services are available to families, friends, caregivers, and others who work with or care about older people or people with disabilities. Today there are 49 ADRCs and nine Tribal ADRSs providing a central source of reliable and objective information about a broad range of programs and services for our most vulnerable populations. ADRCs help people conserve their personal resources, maintain self-sufficiency, and delay or prevent the need for potentially expensive long-term care by enabling people to find resources in their communities and make informed decisions about long-term care.
DHS has dedicated American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding to improve and modernize ADRCs throughout the state. This initiative aims to improve access to ADRC resources, increase awareness of ADRCs throughout Wisconsin, diversify and modernize ADRC services with a focus on equity, and support the increasing demand for ADRC services. Additionally, select ADRCs are taking part in an independent living supports pilot program, which will offer short-term, flexible, and limited services and supports for people at risk of entering Medicaid long-term care. The pilot program will help improve people’s ability to stay in their own homes, potentially easing the burden on Wisconsin’s long-term care system as Wisconsin’s older adult population continues to grow.