Age-Friendly and Dementia-Friendly Winnemucca and Humboldt County
- Need: To make a rural community more inclusive for older adults.
- Intervention: Winnemucca, Nevada, holds monthly meetings to discuss topics like health, housing, social events, community improvement, education, and transportation.
- Results: These meetings have led to many changes for community welfare and safety as well as opportunities for education and activities.
In 2015, the rural community of Winnemucca, Nevada, held a meeting about people with dementia and driving, especially the importance of offering transportation options for those individuals instead of just taking away their driver's license. This discussion led to the development of the Age and Dementia Friendly of Winnemucca project, which holds monthly meetings focused on making the community more inclusive for older adults.
This project is part of the statewide initiative Dementia Friendly Nevada and the AARP Network of Age-Friendly States and Communities. In addition, it received an Independent Living Grant from the State of Nevada Department of Health & Human Services and won 2018 and 2021 AARP Community Challenge grants.
Every month, volunteers meet to design action plans for aging-related issues like:
- Caregiver support
- Community activities like the Turkey Trot, a Sprint Triathlon, and participation in the Alzheimer's Association's Longest Day
- Education presentations, lectures, and conferences
- Housing that's safe, affordable, and designed for residents of any age
- Local and statewide health services
- Opportunities for volunteering and community involvement
- Social events that include people of all ages
- Transportation options
Other events include:
- Brain Health Conference: community awareness and resource opportunity
- Active participation in the Dementia Friendly Nevada Summit
- Fundraising activities to encourage community engagement
- Monthly meetings where the public can learn more about dementia
- Twice-monthly support group for those with dementia or their caregivers/loved ones
- Alzheimer's awareness events
- Dementia education presentations
- Free movie night at the local theater with themes like aging and caring for one another
- R.E.S.T. (Respite Education and Support Tools) training
- Respite retreats for caregivers
- 4+ articles each month in local newspaper to keep the public educated and informed of events
- Articles in a local magazine
During the COVID-19 pandemic, ADF-Winnemucca has delivered tablets with an online conferencing platform so residents can order groceries, access telehealth, and video-call with loved ones. All ADF-Winnemucca meetings are offered live and via videoconferencing.
These meetings have led to:
- A flipchart for residents of health information and other support services in the state
- Concierge services: helping seniors leave the house and get on and off the bus
- Wider parking spaces for the senior bus
- More outdoor seating, like benches along main walkways
- Education for shopkeepers and restaurant service staff
- Education for seniors about documents like wills and power of attorney forms
- Valet parking at the senior center
- Increased opportunities for engagement for all community members
- Presentations on AARP's website and meetings
Funding is always a challenge. The project also works to erase stigma associated with aging and dementia.
The initial town hall meeting included a wide variety of stakeholders, including the mayor, district attorney, court judge, city council, hospital administration, a family member of someone with dementia, and other concerned community members. Many of these individuals continue to work with the project.
The Dementia Friendly Nevada initiative offers a Dementia Friendly Plan and a directory of Nevada services.
Contact InformationGini Cunningham, Facilitator
Winnemucca Alzheimer's Support Group
Aging and aging-related services
Community and faith-based initiatives
Home and community-based services
August 7, 2019
Date updated or reviewed
August 16, 2022
Suggested citation: Rural Health Information Hub, 2022. Age-Friendly and Dementia-Friendly Winnemucca and Humboldt County [online]. Rural Health Information Hub. Available at: https://www.ruralhealthinfo.org/project-examples/1065 [Accessed 3 June 2023]
Please contact the models and innovations contact directly for the most complete and current information about this program. Summaries of models and innovations are provided by RHIhub for your convenience. The programs described are not endorsed by RHIhub or by the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy. Each rural community should consider whether a particular project or approach is a good match for their community’s needs and capacity. While it is sometimes possible to adapt program components to match your resources, keep in mind that changes to the program design may impact results.