Many people in our community need assistance with activities of daily living and caring for their health due to a physical or developmental disability or because of the increasing challenges that come with aging. This help is referred to as long-term care and includes many different services, such as personal care, housekeeping or nursing services. Long-term care can be any health or support service that you need because of a chronic illness or disability that prevents you from carrying out day-to-day activities.
Most long-term care is actually provided by family members, and many people pay privately for the care they receive. However there are many Wisconsin residents who need assistance and who cannot afford to pay for their care on their own.
In October 1999, the State of Wisconsin enacted legislation to redesign the State's long-term care system. A new benefit called Family Care was developed with the help of older adults, service providers, advocates, and state policy specialists. As a comprehensive and flexible long-term care service system, Family Care strives to foster people's independence and quality of life, while recognizing the need for interdependence and support.
In 2000, there were about 2,500 seniors in Milwaukee County on waiting lists, desperately in need of long-term care. The State of Wisconsin launched the Family Care program as a pilot program in 5 Wisconsin counties (map).
Milwaukee County was one of the original 5 pilot counties.
By 2002, the wait list for seniors was eliminated in Milwaukee County. At that time, the Milwaukee County Department on Aging operated the Managed Care Organization. During most of that time, the Family Care program in Milwaukee County only served people age 60 and over. At the end of 2009, the Family Care program expanded in Milwaukee County to serve people, age 18 to 59, with physical and developmental disabilities.
In June 2010, in demonstration to their commitment to the success of the Family Care program in Milwaukee County, the Milwaukee County Board of Supervisors approved a separation of the Managed Care Organization from the Department on Aging and effective July 1, 2010, Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker created "The Milwaukee County Department of Family Care!"
The Milwaukee County Department of Family Care is a leader in providing the Family Care program in Milwaukee County. The Milwaukee County Department of Family Care program is a robust and thriving operation of Milwaukee County Government and currently serves over 7,500 members.
Over the past ten years, Milwaukee County has successfully served more than 15,000 Family Care members. The Milwaukee County Department of Family Care looks forward to continuing to serve our community for many years to come.