Interview: Oakwood’s Approach To Innovative Dementia Care
May 8, 2024

Sherri Friend, Oakwood Creative Care’s President and CEO, has been working in the nonprofit sector for 25 years, helping seniors live their best lives. Considering how Arizona has the fastest growth rate of Alzheimer’s disease in the country, as well as her own personal experience watching her grandmother progress through dementia, Sherri calls it her life’s mission to do everything in her power to create change within the senior care industry.

Since its establishment in 1975, OCC has taken new and innovative steps to allow older adults to experience a life fully lived, no matter their diagnosis. Sherri spoke about these steps on a panel featured in the Morning Scoop presented by the Arizona Capitol Times called “Navigating Dementia – Arizona’s Innovative New Model.”

Sherri Friend, president and CEO of Oakwood Creative Care, home of Arizona's innovative Dementia care model

“As we have been pushing the envelope in how we offer care, the mission of our organization is to enhance quality of life and spark joy for seniors with cognitive and physical impairment. Quality of life is a standard we talk about, but joy is a little different – we take that very seriously. It’s a super important component of the innovation and model that [Oakwood] portrays. We offer what [the industry calls] ‘adult day health services.’ We have shifted away from calling it adult daycare because the folks who come to our programs deserve more than being in daycare.”

Sherri also reflects on how she and Oakwood’s teams have worked on reviewing and reforming the best practices of dementia care collected from around the world. As a result, Oakwood continues to expand and offer families a more refined, all-encompassing approach to dementia care that allows aging loved ones to experience a more inclusive community. 

You can catch the full panel discussion here:

Did You Know?

Oakwood Creative Care is bringing back the JOY in aging! We believe a diagnosis should not have to define your life. Instead, we have devoted our mission to reigniting hope for caregivers and older adults with Alzheimer’s, dementia, and other age-related challenges. Click the button below to learn more about how we do this through our research-based, cutting-edge, creative care model found at each of our Day Clubs.

Learn more, contact us, and get started with the Guide Program today, at:

Interview with Sherri Friend, president and CEO of Oakwood Creative Care, about home of Arizona's innovative Dementia care model


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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