Dementia Friendly Nevada is sponsoring a Summit in Reno at the Peppermill September 11-13. You are invited. The actual title is “Dementia Friendly Nevada Strategic Planning Summit”. 

This is not an education conference with a lineup of guest speakers. It is not a lecture series. It is an opportunity for your voice to be heard as we plan for the best procedures and outcomes for people living with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias. Sunday launches the gathering with a Meet and Greet session. Usually I am nervous about events such as this as mingling is not my forte. However, this one will be different. First, there are at least 11 people from Winnemucca who will be in attendance. Second, this will be my chance to meet “live” with many of the people that I only know via Zoom. Third, I am excited to hear opinions and to read the faces of the attendees as we begin this exploratory process.

Monday begins with a box breakfast – for distancing and social safety. Plus the room we are in holds 400 and we are expecting closer to 100, unless, of course, you join us with 299 of your closest friends, so there is room to spread out. The day will consist of a series of panels: caregivers; people living with dementia; DFN representatives; Nevada Task Force on Alzheimer’s disease members; and more. Each group will share thoughts and then attendees will distill key points on posters to be placed around the room for reference and to increase clarity of our priorities. At the end of the session, we will determine highlights, commonalities, and the best path for moving Nevada forward as a leader of dementia respect, care, and positives beliefs as we knock down the stigma of cognitive decline. We will hear voices from around our state, and most importantly, we, as rural Nevadans, will have the occasion to share our strengths, concerns, and areas on which we want to focus.

Tuesday, we resume the rich conversations of the day before to include creating graphics and a presentation of our vision and goals. Now don’t let this idea deter you. I know I don’t always love this kind of group interaction, unless, of course, I feel a vital need for my voice – our voices – to be heard. While we have tremendous advantages living outside of Reno and Las Vegas such as the power of friendship, our vast neighborly connections, and personal relationships, we do have areas to improve. Transportation is one thought, but not just a ride somewhere with someone, but a trip with a driver who understands the struggles someone living with dementia might be facing as travel ensues. Affordable housing – a nationwide worry – might enter into our discussion. Access to affordable medical professionals including neurologists and gerontologists is essential. Then there are the everyday occurrences: wait staff and service personnel who sense the unique needs of someone living with dementia; family support systems for “letting loose” and augmenting care techniques; education opportunities for better awareness of the trials of Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias. Who knows what hot topics might arise. Only you and your expertise can fill in the gaps for needs in rural Nevada.

Want more information? Please contact me; better yet sign up today: bit.ly/dfnv-summit After registering you can also reserve a room at the special group rate of $102 plus tax. Now, more than ever, Nevada needs to hear from us. Yet again, we are leaders in dementia education and understanding; we are improving our society.

Continuing your prospects for learning during that same week, Age- and Dementia-Friendly Winnemucca is sponsoring its 2nd Annual Brain Health Conference. It’s free – 7:30am-2:30pm at the Boys and Girls Club, September 15th, with breakfast and lunch included. Topics include “Creating Communities Where all People can Live, Age, and Thrive”, “Managing Money: A Caregivers Guide to Finances”, “Diabetes and Brain Health”, “Trauma and Its Effect on Occupations and Well-Being”, “Neuropsychiatric Manifestations and Emotional Burden”, and “What You Need to Know Before You Forget”. Wow! What a lineup and what a super way to expand knowledge and advance our personal data base. Pre-registration is requested so that your breakfast and lunch will be ready. Chef Ian knows how to put together the most delicious array of delicacies.

Visit our website: www.adf-winnemucca.com or email me ginilc25@gmail.com with questions and your input.