Oakwood Creative Care Gives Thanks On Thanksgiving
November 17, 2023

Happy Thanksgiving, one and all! As we get ready to settle ourselves in for the feast of the season, we hope you will take a moment to reflect with us on what it is we are all most thankful for this holiday. Truly, this past year has been one of immense growth and reflection, trials and successes, and memories worth making. From some of our team members here at Oakwood Creative Care, here are just a few of the things we are saying “Thank you” for this year…

easy exercise for every senior

“I am thankful for the opportunity to do this amazing work with such a strong, courageous, and creative team that never ceases to amaze me. I am grateful for the support of our community, who stand by us with love and kindness.

I am thankful for our Board of Directors, who are such amazing humans volunteering their time to support the mission of Oakwood Creative Care.  They are more than just Board Members; they are the foundation that allows the organization to thrive!”

– Sherri Friend, President and CEO

“I am most thankful today (and every day!) to be blessed with my amazing friends and family. To each person whose role helps make up the Oakwood Creative Care family, I want you to know that I am so thankful to have you on our team –  to be able to celebrate your wins and watch you grow along the way. You are all so unique and talented, and it is a pleasure to work beside you!

To all of the members and families of our Day Clubs whom we have the immense honor and privilege of serving, thank you for trusting us to be a part of your care team and sparking joy in our lives each day. And lastly, a HUGE thank you to this community that has overwhelmed us with tremendous love and support during this year of exciting growth for our Dementia Hub and Oakwood Creative Care as a whole!”

– Tara Krantzman, Chief Operations Officer

easy exercise for every senior
Annie club director

I want to personally thank all of the Oakwood Family for your support and prayers as my family goes through such a difficult time. There is nothing more important than my Oakwood extended family.

Not only do we make a difference in the lives of those we help, but we are always there for each other.  What a blessing that is!!!

– Annie Naugle, Town Center Day Club Director and Nurse

I am thankful for the home I have found within Oakwood Creative Care and the leadership teams and families who have graciously taken me under the wing. Having the opportunity to hear about the life experiences of Oakwood’s members and their caregivers and share their stories is an honor I don’t think I can ever truly capture in words.

Every day, I am wowed and amazed by their unending compassion and strength. When statistics have told them their story will end one way, Oakwood’s families have picked up their pens and written new endings full of joy and inspiration. So, to every beloved Oakwood member and their family, thank YOU for letting me be just a footnote in the stories you are unveiling!”

– Trista Escobedo, Communication Specialist

Trista OCC Communications
Dementia Friendly Mesa Task Force

“Where to begin?! We are incredibly grateful and honored to be a small part of impacting this growing and vibrant community of care partners and their loved ones living with dementia. From the Memory Cafes to our monthly educational sessions and fun activities, we have been awed and thoroughly inspired by our members and their families’ grace and resilience. We consider it a great privilege to be walking alongside these families during this journey. Our heartfelt thanksgiving to each and every one of you that makes coming to work a joy as we celebrate life and love together!

– The Dementia Hub Team

Some gratitudes from the COPE Team at the Dementia Hub by Oakwood Creative Care include:

  • The families who have allowed us to journey with them, especially over the last year.
  • All the community members who have been authentic in sharing their time, talent, and treasure with us as we grow.
  • Family vacations and time to make memories.
  • Furry family members — our dogs especially!!
  • Our health.
  • The COPE training from Drexel University and the research team that developed it
  • Healthy drive-thru meals like Salad-n-Go
  • A good night’s sleep
  • Banana peppers
  • Beginning to crack the code on building more quality dementia care together
  • Our family, friends, mentors, and supervisors who have helped us get here.
  • The Administration for Community Living grant, Memory Keepers grants, donors, and Maricopa County grant.
  • All the Occupational Therapy programs that have shown interest and support in the last year — especially Huntington University, NAU, Gateway Community College, Midwestern, ATSU, and the local State OT Association, ArizOTA.
Monika, Occupational Therapist and Dementia Hub Clinical Director
Monika, Occupational Therapist and Dementia Hub Clinical Director
Megan Schapiro, OT

I am thankful for my family and the joy that is in my life from being part of the Oakwood family!


Care Specialist

I’m thankful for friends to talk with, music to share with others, and tacos to eat!


Engagement Specialist

I am thankful for my supportive coworkers and a job that doesn’t feel like work.


Care Specialist

I am thankful for my family, my friends, and my work family. I’m thankful I have found a job that lets me make a positive impact on people’s lives.


Engagement Specialist

I am thankful for second chances.


Director of Operations - Town Center

I am so grateful for cream cheese rangoons!


Engagement Specialist

Happy Thanksgiving From Our Oakwood Family To Yours!

OCC Thanksgiving


We're a nonprofit organization based in Mesa, Arizona with three senior day club locations (and a fourth on the way) which serve older adults with Alzheimer's, dementia, Parkinson's, and various other physical or cognitive challenges. Life does not end with a diagnosis. Our members continue to learn new skills, enjoy new discoveries, make friends, laugh, and live a joy-filled life. Our team of dementia experts lead support groups, events, classes, and private sessions with caregivers and families, guiding them on the best methods to care for their loved ones while also caring for themselves.

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