In September 2022, nearly 100 Dementia Friendly Nevada members came together in-person for a two-day Strategic Planning Summit. The goal of that Summit: to develop a set of Dementia Friendly Nevada Statewide Aspirations the will guide the work of the statewide initiative over the next five years. Written in present tense, these aspirations speak to the future we hope to manifest through our collaborative work across Nevada.
Dementia Friendly Nevada Statewide Aspirations
Aspiration 1: Provide Innovative Brain Health and Dementia Education
Dementia Friendly Nevada is a leader in providing innovative and creative approaches to brain health and dementia education. Our in-person and virtual programs are tailored for diverse groups, including: law enforcement, legal professionals, youth, healthcare workers, businesses, care and support partners, people living with dementia, and community members. Embodying Dementia Friendly Nevada’s values and mobilizing beliefs, our learning opportunities serve to destigmatize aging and dementia. Community members learn from and with each other in the equitable and oftentimes intergenerational spaces we create, pioneering new ideas and proactive pathways forward. As we teach, we emphasize the importance of diversity, equity, inclusion, and self-advocacy across the lifespan. To broaden our impact, we offer a new dementia training program that satisfies the ethics requirement for most professional licenses in Nevada.
Aspiration Statement 2: Increase Awareness of and Access to Supportive Services
To advance Dementia Friendly Nevada’s mission, our members work hard to increase awareness of and access to supportive services for people living with dementia and care partners. This includes educating the public about Nevada 2-1-1 and Nevada Care Connection, both of which serve as centralized hubs for information and referral. In addition, we promote the Benjamin Rose Institute’s Best Practice Caregiving website, which is a free, online directory of evidence-based and evidence-informed dementia-related programs for family care partners. We disseminate information regarding supportive services amongst the general population and within healthcare settings, ensuring current resource information is readily available to Nevadans regardless of location. The Dementia Friendly Nevada Support Team provides training and technical assistance to a strong network of highly trained Dementia Care Specialists who provide free cognitive screenings and resource navigation in each county, to connect Nevadans to comprehensive cognitive assessments and/or supportive services as needed. With the assistance of volunteer facilitators, our Dementia Conversations program has expanded to all corners of the state, providing regular opportunities for people living with dementia and care partners to share their experiences, strategies, and helpful resources for living well with dementia. Through the widespread dissemination of our Dementia Self-Management Guidebook and accompanying self-management program, people living with dementia have immediate access to ideas for supporting their own brain health and well-being.
Aspiration Statement 3: Encourage Empowerment and Self-Advocacy among People Living with Dementia
The Dementia Friendly Nevada community works together to connect with experts in the lived experience of dementia—people living with dementia themselves—and engage those experts in self-advocacy. We strive to support people living with dementia in growing their capacity for active citizenship over time, challenging the narrative that dementia entails only decline. To connect with people living with dementia and encourage them to join the movement, we employ a widespread stigma-breaking information campaign that shares stories of Dementia Friendly Nevada members who have spurred both personal and societal impact through their own self-advocacy. Our partnerships with medical professionals and aging- and social-services hubs across the state offer prime ground for broadening the reach of this campaign, reaching people at the point of diagnosis and working with them individually to support their self-advocacy. Once connected with us, we ensure that all of our members—including people living with dementia—have clear, manageable, and meaningful roles to play in the success of Dementia Friendly Nevada. This robust commitment to authentically partnering with people living with dementia in everything we do necessitates creating and adhering to dementia-friendly-and-inclusive planning processes. By working in partnership with people living with dementia, we will create the most ideal future for all Nevadans.
Aspiration Statement 4: Foster Collaborative Partnerships
Dementia Friendly Nevada is a collaborative network focused on supporting the health, well-being, and inclusion of people living with dementia, care partners, and the broader community, uniting Nevada and achieving success through a “nothing about us without us” approach. This network cuts across all sectors of the community; everyone has a part to play in building a community that is dementia-friendly-and-inclusive. Commitment, collaboration, intentionality, and enabling support are central to this process. All Dementia Friendly Nevada resources and programs are developed in active collaboration with people living with dementia from different communities, identities, and diagnoses. These resources are also designed with and for professionals in varying fields, including medical professionals, professional care partners, legislators, businesses, transportation, first responders, and more. Monthly Dementia Friendly Nevada community group meetings provide regular opportunities for community members to work together to identify and address the needs of their community. Our strategic partnerships demonstrate the power of synergistic relationships and deepen our impact.
Aspiration Statement 5: Launch a Positive Awareness Campaign
Given the essential nature of public awareness and participation in the work of Dementia Friendly Nevada, we cultivate a multifaceted multimedia awareness campaign on a variety of platforms. The goals of this campaign is to provide easily accessible information about community resources to all Nevadans—rural, tribal, and urban—as well as to advance positive narratives on dementia that offer opportunities for Nevadans to embrace new perspectives and hope. Part of engaging all Nevadans entails mobilizing the campaign in many languages and accessibility formats, and tailoring campaign content and style to each of the many populations and cultures in our state. The power of creativity in changing hearts and minds is core to this effort. As such, the campaign encourages Dementia Friendly Nevada members and community partners to contribute their own creative expressions that break the stigma of dementia and help facilitate community members in accessing important resources. Funding for the campaign is continually secured through a combination of grants, philanthropic support, and community-level donations.