Dementia Friendly Nevada COVID-19 Update
Dementia Friendly Nevada rests solidly on a foundational principle that no matter what the problem, community is the answer. We therefore foster a statewide movement that is social and relational at its core. We gather together whenever possible, both to accomplish our goals and also to build connections between our members. However, during the COVID-19 pandemic, it is important that we all “stay home for Nevada.” Of all Nevadans, elders are at an especially high risk of complications from COVID-19.
Therefore, we made the decision in early March to suspend all in-person activities across the Dementia Friendly Nevada network until further notice. However, we have successfully moved several key offerings to an online platform via Zoom, as described below. In addition, as happens with most unfortunate developments, an opening for innovation presented itself: the opportunity to build a robust, online infrastructure to address the needs of homebound elders across the state of Nevada, including elders living with dementia and family care partners.
This initiative—called the Nevada COVID-19 Aging Network, or Nevada CAN—aims to address the emergent needs of all 454,221 elders across our state. With leadership from the Nevada Aging and Disability Services Division, and collaboration from more than 30 aging and social services organizations and a team of elder advisors from Dementia Friendly Nevada, action teams have been convened to deliver food and medication to the doorsteps of elders, to offer comprehensive telehealth services, and to construct social support opportunities for elders who desire more social engagement.
If you are an elder in need, or you know an elder in need, please complete the Elder Needs Survey on the Nevada CAN website by visiting https://www.nevada211.org/seniors-covid19-resources/ and clicking “Request Help.” Also on that website is a list of resources available to elders that we encourage you to review.
On the Nevada CAN website, you will also see a chance to sign up as a Volunteer for the Nevada CAN initiative. Choosing to support elders in this time of crisis is a noble and admirable commitment; thank you in advance!
Regarding Dementia Friendly Nevada’s regular activities, most have been suspended until social distancing is over. However, many of our Community Groups are still meeting monthly via Zoom. Information for those meetings can be found on each Community Group’s page within the Dementia Friendly Nevada website.
In addition to the monthly Community Group meetings, Dementia Friendly Nevada will be providing a monthly Dementia Friends Information Session on the Third Wednesday of each month from 12:00 – 1:00 PM via Zoom. More information can be found here: http://dementiafriendlynevada.org/dementia-friends/
Lastly, we are launching a new monthly opportunity called Dementia Conversations with Chuck and Jennifer on the Second Monday of each month from 10:00 – 11:00 AM via Zoom! This online Zoom meeting will serve as a space for anyone who wishes to discuss dementia to come together and engage in conversation with Chuck McClatchey (national dementia advocate and expert of lived experience) and Dr. Jennifer Carson (family care partner and Project Director for Dementia Friendly Nevada). Whether you have recently received a diagnosis of dementia, are embarking on the journey of supporting with a loved one, or are just interested in learning more about the experience of living with dementia, Dementia Conversations with Chuck and Jennifer is a place for you! Jennifer explains, “While we may not know the answer—as the experience of living with dementia is varied and diverse–we will share our experiences and perspectives, and we look forward to hearing your views as well.” More information can be found here: http://dementiafriendlynevada.org/dementia-conversations/
Thank you for your support of elders during this trying time, including people living with dementia and family care partners. We sincerely look forward to resuming all of our in-person activities and services once we can all come together again.