About the Pesa Sooname Advisory Group

In 2016, the state of Nevada was awarded a grant through the Administration for Community Living to launch the Dementia Friendly Nevada initiative. Over the following two years, six communities across the state signed on to the movement, pledging to build a diverse coalition of stakeholders–including people living with dementia and their care partners–who would work together to build a community that is supportive and inclusive of people living with dementia and their care partners. The Pesa Sooname Advisory Group, convened by the Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe, represents three communities surrounding Pyramid Lake: Sutcliffe, Nixon, and Wadsworth. Using national statistics for dementia prevalence, we estimate that approximately 85 elders are living with dementia in these three communities. It is our mission to make Pyramid Lake a better place to live for those elders, their families, and all community members.

Why “Pesa Sooname?”

In the Northern Paiute Language, we have no word for “dementia,” and thus we searched for a name for our group that didn’t involve such vocabulary. We landed on “pesa sooname,” meaning “good thoughts” and “good thinking.” Through the Advisory Group, we hope to build good thoughts toward elders living with dementia, and we also strive to support our own good thinking through brain-healthy lifestyles.

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