Nevada Rural RSVP aims to increase dementia awareness in Carson City |

Nevada Rural RSVP aims to increase dementia awareness in Carson City

Nevada Appeal staff report

A campaign to tackle the stigma and lack of understanding around dementia is underway with the support of the Nevada Rural Counties RSVP Program.

RSVP is hosting a “Dementia Friends” and Alzheimer’s information session on Oct. 31 and is looking for local people to join in learning about dementia and helping people who are living with it in our community. The session will take place at the University of Nevada Cooperative Extension, 2621 Northgate Lane, Suite 15, Carson City, 9:30 a.m.-noon. Coffee, water, and light refreshments will be served.

RSVP is a valued partner in the Dementia Friendly Nevada Initiative. RSVP’s Independent Living Programs such as transportation and respite care, are an essential service connection that aligns with this initiative, which aims to develop and promote communities that are informed, safe, respectful and inclusive of persons living with dementia and their care partners.

Dementia Friends is the biggest initiative to change people’s perceptions of dementia. It aims to transform the way we think, talk and act about the disease. The Dementia Friends session helps you learn about dementia and the small ways you can help. From telling friends about the program to visiting someone you know living with dementia, every action counts.

According to the Alzheimer’s Association, there are approximately 45,000 individuals living with dementia in Nevada.

“I signed up to be a Dementia Friends Champion because I want to help people understand that people living with dementia are not to be feared or excluded. They are still a part of the community and society, have much to share and contribute, and should be valued and treated with respect just like any other person. I’m now proud to be part of a growing network of people and organizations creating dementia friendly communities together,” said Susan Haas, RSVP executive director and CEO.

Following the Dementia Friends information session, The Alzheimer’s Association of Northern California and Northern Nevada will present “Understanding and Responding to Dementia Related Behaviors,” from 11 a.m.-noon. This one-hour session will provide practical information and resources to help dementia caregivers learn to decipher behaviors and determine how best to respond.

The program offers a four-step process to follow and provides details that may be applied to any behavior. The four steps are: 1) Detect and Connect; 2) Address Physical Needs; 3) Address Emotional Needs; 4) Reassess and plan for next time. The four steps are then applied to the following behaviors: anxiety or agitation; confusion or suspicion; aggression; repetition and wandering.

Anyone interested in attending the free event should contact Sandy Severance at 775-687-4680 x 6 or Please RSVP as space is limited.