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Home > Mercy News > Family Caregivers Center of Mercy celebrates five-year milestone
Published on December 02, 2020
The Family Caregivers Center of Mercy is pleased to announce that it is marking its fifth anniversary of serving the community through education, resources and support. The Center was established in December 2015 as Iowa’s first and only comprehensive center for family caregivers and retains that distinction yet today.
Located at 901 Eighth Ave. SE across from Mercy Medical Center, the Family Caregivers Center of Mercy remains community-focused, providing caregivers of adults living with chronic conditions, including dementia, with the support they need – regardless of hospital or physician affiliation.
Through the Center, caregivers receive emotional support and assistance in developing a plan that connects them to existing resources. The Center also provides educational events; support groups; access to respite care; music, art and chair yoga; and a resource lending library.
Since its inception, the Center has assisted more than 1,200 caregivers – more than 50 percent of whom care for a person living with dementia. In total, more than 15,000 individuals have walked through the Center’s doors; 1,100 educational sessions and events have been offered; and 167 volunteers have contributed more than 33,000 hours of service.
In 2018, the Family Caregivers Center was one of only four programs in the nation recognized by the American Hospital Association as a winner of its Hospital Awards for Volunteer Excellence.
“Clearly, there’s a need for the services we’ve been able to provide to the community,” said Kathy Good, director of the Family Caregivers Center. “I like to think the reason we’ve been so successful is because of the atmosphere we’ve created here. Ninety percent of our volunteers are or were caregivers themselves, so they have a strong understanding of what caregivers are facing and how to best support them. It’s been a very gratifying five years and we look forward to helping many more caregivers as we move forward.”
Good was a caregiver herself after her late husband, Dave, was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s at the age of 56. Good says she saw the need for a comprehensive resource to support caregivers in the community.
There are an estimated 41 million family caregivers nationwide supporting adults with chronic conditions. Specifically, the number of people living with dementia in east central Iowa is estimated to be more than 16,000 and, of those, 4,700 live in Linn County. These numbers are projected to grow yearly as our population ages.
The Mercy Foundation leads fundraising efforts for the Center through a supporting endowment.
The Center will have a second location within the Chris and Suzy DeWolf Family Innovation Center for Aging & Dementia at HallMar Village when it opens in 2022.
In recognition and celebration of the Center’s fifth anniversary, guest speaker and author Judy Cornish will offer a virtual presentation called The Gifts of Dementia. Cornish developed the DAWN Method through keen observation of and successful interaction with people living with dementia. The DAWN Method enables families to keep loved ones at home longer, with less stress and more comfort.
What: The Gifts of Dementia – a virtual presentation by author Judy Cornish
When: 5:30 to 7 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 10
Who: The public is invited to participate through Zoom.
How: For further instructions on joining the presentation, call 319-221-8866 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.