Welcome, DEER Friend!

We are the Dementia Engagement, Education, and Research (DEER) Program, situated within the School of Public Health at the University of Nevada, Reno.

The DEER Program aims to build capacity within individuals, organizations, and communities for living well with dementia.

The DEER Program aims to build capacity at the individual, organizational, and community levels to improve the experience of living with dementia and care partnering practices in Nevada and beyond.  With an extensive network of highly engaged partners and multiple programs with a statewide reach, DEER Program initiatives reflect the diversity, equity, and inclusion mission of the School of Public Health at the University of Nevada, Reno.

Guided by an “authentic partnerships” approach that directly engages people living with dementia and family and professional care partners in all research and education activities, DEER Program initiatives leverage the power of participation and collaboration in an effort to improve the culture of dementia and dementia care practices in Nevada and around the world.

Our program innovations are nationally recognized, and we have incredible impact stories to share! Please join us in building a culture of dementia that is more respectful, educated, supportive, and inclusive!

We Believe…

Dementia is a public health priority.

People living with dementia can live well.

Partnering with people living with dementia opens a world of possibilities.

Collaboration surfaces the wisdom of each person and the collective.

Proactive, upstream supports reduce the need for reactive, downstream interventions.

Honoring the person before the task and the process over the outcome fosters a better and more equitable result.

Elders need communities, and communities need elders.

An inclusive community is a strong community.

If you want to change the culture, you have to change the story.

A healthy lifestyle can help reduce the risk of dementia and slow cognitive decline.

To accomplish this mission, the DEER Program works at five levels:

People Living With Dementia

Family Care Partners

Professional Care Partners



DEER Program Offerings

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Bravo Zulu: Achieving Excellence in Relationship-Centered Dementia Care is a comprehensive, 12-hour professional and family care partner dementia education program that centers cultural competence and cultural humility as foundations of person- and relationship-centered care, with a focus on military culture and veterans.

Dementia Conversations is a twice-weekly, Zoom-based public discussion forum for people living with dementia and care partners to share their experiences and explore practical strategies for living well with dementia.

Dementia Friendly Nevada is a statewide, volunteer-driven effort that aims to develop and promote communities that are respectful, educated, supportive and inclusive of people living with dementia and their care partners, with Community Groups in rural, urban, and tribal communities.

Dementia Friends is a 90-minute information session offered in English and Spanish, that covers the basics of dementia, strategies to reduce the risk of developing dementia, activities to better understand the experiences of people living with dementia, and approaches for effective communication.

ICECAP Nevada, led by the UNR Sanford Center for Aging, provides comprehensive, interprofessional dementia education for primary care practices, health professions students, long-term care professionals, and family care partners.

BOLD Public Health Program, led by Nevada Division of Public and Behavioral Health, aims to keep people healthy across the life course by protecting brain health and supporting the needs of people affected by dementia.

NEST Programs are virtual, volunteer-hosted social support and technology assistance programs that are available for any organization in Nevada to adopt and implement.

CARES online dementia care training certification programs, developed by Healthcare Interactive, teach family and professional care partners person-centered approaches to support people living with dementia, available in English and Spanish.

The Dementia Self-Management Guidebook and Program, developed in collaboration with six people living with dementia, examines dementia from a chronic disease self-management perspective, providing information about dementia and ways to develop personalized strategies for living well.

Capacity Building

Looking to adopt one of our offerings in your community/organization?

Explore the DEER Capacity-Building Resource Center

Our Impact in 2023

New Dementia Friends
Visits to Dementia Conversations
Dementia Friendly Nevada Meeting Participation
Total Service Impact

Make a donation today to support the DEER Program and our offerings

DEER Events

The DEER Program hosts many in-person and virtual events to support people living with dementia and care partners, all of which are completely free and open to the public. Advanced registration is generally required.

For a full list of upcoming events, click here.