Mercy Care Awards Grant to Oakwood Creative Care for New Dementia Hub

Mercy Care, a local nonprofit Medicaid health plan, awarded Oakwood Creative Care in Mesa a $400,000 grant to support people living with dementia to improve their access to social activities and create meaningful opportunities for engagement and emotional support.

Mercy Care provided the funding through its Mercy C.A.R.E.S. Community Reinvestment grant program to address Arizona’s fast-growing number of aging adults and their related health concerns. By 2025, Arizona is expected to have one of the fastest growth rates of Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias in the country.

The Dementia Hub addresses some of the common challenges that families face when caring for a loved one with memory impairment. It features a coaching program that pairs occupational therapists, family support specialists and physician assistants with caregivers to guide families on ways to provide the best care in a home setting. It also houses a dementia-inclusive community center, where people living with dementia and their caregivers can connect with others over coffee, participate in support groups and self-care classes, and attend special events.

The Hub also offers training and education classes for workforce professionals to better understand dementia and address challenging behaviors without relying on unnecessary medication or institutionalization.

“All of these offerings aim to improve seniors’ mental health, wellness and overall abilities to achieve self-sufficiency,” said Sherri Friend, president and CEO of Oakwood Creative Care. “Our partnership with Mercy Care will strengthen our ability to serve those families so they can live meaningful lives and celebrate each moment of joy along the way.”

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About Julie Coleman

Julie Coleman is a contributing writer for Frontdoors Media. She is Principal of Julie Coleman Consulting, providing strategic philanthropy consulting services for individuals, families, businesses, foundations and nonprofit organizations.
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