Grant given for Dementia and Alzheimer’s research

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Hospice of the Valley Dementia Care and Education campus recently received a grant from the Maricopa County Department of Health to address growing concerns about Alzheimer’s and other dementias in the community.

Dr. Maribeth Gallagher, dementia program director at Hospice of the Valley, explains more about the grant.

“This is what we believe is the first of it’s kind,” Gallagher said. “And it’s sort of one stop shopping if you will, where people who live with dementia and their caregivers can come and receive education, also come together and socialize, and experience the arts.”

There is a big education building on campus that took a lot of the center’s focus. There is also an adult day club where dementia patients can socialize and a child center, according to Gallagher. An assisted living facility and a small demential unit is also featured.

The contract received from the Department of Health is “exclusively to educate 3,000 Maricopa County health care providers on dementia,” Gallagher said. “Oftentimes they are the first line for meeting people with dementia.”

The idea is to educate the health care providers and help them point out when a patient is showing signs of dementia.

“90% of the primary care providers are saying that they’re really experiencing this increase in number of people with dementia. But 50% of them are saying that they feel that they have very little preparation to do this well. And so that’s going to be our focus,” Gallagher said.

Another main goal of this mission is to shatter the stigma that is centered around dementia, according to Gallagher.

“Indeed there are challenges, but also when we know better and do better we can experience quality of life in so many ways,” Gallagher said.

It’s also important to diagnose and recognize dementia in patients before they need hospice are, Gallagher said.

Dr. Maribeth Gallagher,DNP, PMHNP-BC, FAAN/Dementia Program Director at Hospice of the Valley

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