Next Wednesday, a group of local panelists will discuss dementia and driving
during a town hall meeting at Humboldt General Hospital.
The meeting, which is sponsored by Winnemucca Alzheimer’s Awareness,
will begin at 6:45 p.m. in the hospital’s Sarah Winnemucca Conference
Room; local residents are invited to attend to ask questions and offer
ideas and suggestions.
The feedback will also help the group as they address their second subject
for the evening: making Winnemucca an “Age Friendly Community.”
“It is a huge concern,” said Winnemucca Alzheimer’s Support
Group Facilitator Gini Cunningham, “when someone who is not in full
cognitive control of his or her faculties is behind the wheel.”
Cunningham, who will also act as the evening’s facilitator, said
the town hall panel will include a caregiver, city leaders, and representatives
from law enforcement, Humboldt General Hospital, Humboldt Volunteer Hospice,
the Humboldt County Senior Citizens Center, and the AARP.
“This is your chance to learn more about driving and dementia as
panelists discuss responsibilities and liabilities along with ways that
each person and/or department is handling this worrisome problem,” she said.
“There will be time for the public to ask questions and offer ideas
and suggestions. This input also will be utilized to let our legislators
know of our concerns.”
The event is part of the Nevada TASK Force on Alzheimer’s Disease
and Other Dementias’ campaign to gain knowledge from across the
state on driving and dementia.
Cunningham said that although driving allows older residents to maintain
their independence to run errands, visit friends, or travel, it can also
be very dangerous for the driver, car occupants, and the public.
“It is tragic to take a license away, even though it is done for
all of the right reasons,” said Cunningham, “but it is worse
to permit an unsafe driver on the road.”
Cunningham said transportation for those without a license will be a key
town hall topic, along with a discussion of whose responsibility it is
to revoke a license.
Wednesday, following discussion of driving and dementia, the town hall
panelists will also discuss an Age-Friendly Community designation for
The designation, which requires application through the World Health Organization,
would assure that Winnemucca has pleasant outdoor spaces, adequate transportation,
affordable housing, social events with senior inclusion, civic participation
opportunities, health services, and communication systems like radio,
newspaper, and television.
“Certainly, in some of these areas we excel, and in others we still
need some discussion and hard work,” said Cunningham, “but
all aspects are achievable.”
The “Driving, Dementia and Age-Friendly Winnemucca” town hall
meeting will take place from 6:45 p.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesday, September
16, in the Sarah Winnemucca Conference Room at Humboldt General Hospital.
All local residents are invited to attend and share their feedback.
For more information, please contact Winnemucca Alzheimer’s Support
Group Facilitator Gini Cunningham via email at