ABOUT

Caring for Reno’s Elders –C.A.R.E. – is a program focused on increasing social connectedness and reducing the health and mortality issues associated with loneliness. Washoe County, NV has a suicide rate that is twice the national average for people 65 and older and four times the national average for those 85 and older. People who are lonely have a higher rate of depression, suicide, chronic disease, and their lifespan is shortened. Our program aims to build a cohesive social network for the elders in our community focused on volunteerism, connection to resources, information sharing, and advocacy. The main impact is to increase the overall health and well-being of the elders in our community. This goal will be achieved through an increase in volunteerism, an increase in connection between existing and new social service activities and organizations, an increase in participation in recreational activities, and an increase in awareness of elder health and well-being.

BUILD PRINCIPLES

BUILD and its communities apply bold, upstream, integrated, local, and data-driven (BUILD) approaches to improve health in communities that are adversely affected by upstream factors.

Bold

This program addresses systemic barriers impeding seniors’ ability to participate in social activity/connection, including transportation, location of services, and affordable housing. These efforts are currently being addressed in a fragmented manner. We will pilot a program in a high-need zip code and bring together a vast array of organizations and policy makers to work together to address the root cause of social isolation and suicidality.

Upstream

We will focus on factors influencing the health of seniors by engaging the community, not just health professionals, in implementing interventions that support elder well-being. The program will increase social connectedness among seniors by operating on the premise of treating everyone with respect, kindness and compassion, and demonstrating the power of simple acts of kindness and compassion on someone’s health and well-being.

Integrated

We will focus on factors influencing the health of seniors by engaging the community, not just health professionals, in implementing interventions that support elder well-being. The program will increase social connectedness among seniors by operating on the premise of treating everyone with respect, kindness and compassion, and demonstrating the power of simple acts of kindness and compassion on someone’s health and well-being.

Local

The collaborative has created a governance structure that ensures participation of 89512 residents, the target population, and key community leaders in all aspects of the program’s design, implementation, evaluation, and potential expansion/replication. Through representation in the development and the execution of the program, stakeholders will help develop a culture of “fierce localness” so each neighborhood is empowered to build upon the CARE concepts and make them work for their neighborhood and their constituents.

Data-Driven

This effort was developed in response to data from our community health needs assessment and research done by the University of Nevada, Reno. Data has given this project credibility and a sense of urgency. It shapes and directs our work by informing progress analysis, helping us to advocate with funders and legislators, and ultimately ensuring the projects sustainability.