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Judy Berry

Lakeview Ranch Inc.
Purpose Prize Fellow 2011

Berry offers holistic and humane care to people with dementia, especially those who exhibit aggressive behavior.

For seven years, Judy Berry watched her mother endure 12 hospitalizations for dementia-related behavior. However, Berry thought her mother didn’t fare well during treatment – she was often overmedicated (with what Berry later learned were inappropriate psychotropic drugs), strapped into a chair and left to wither away.

Her mother passed away without receiving the kind of care Berry had envisioned for her. It was simply too expensive. Three years later, in 1999, Berry quit her job as a regional sales manager at Lloyd’s Barbeque Co. and poured her life savings into the creation of Lakeview Ranch Specialized Dementia Care.

With two rural, residential homes in Minnesota and a highly skilled staff of 85, Lakeview offers holistic and humane care to people with dementia, especially those who exhibit aggressive behavior, as her mother had. The goal is to tend to not only their physical needs, but emotional and spiritual needs as well.

“When they receive compassionate, specialized care that helps them maintain their dignity, they’re much more likely to be cooperative – and at peace,” says Berry.

With services that range from animal therapy to end-of-life palliative care, Berry’s approach reduces expensive hospitalizations and the overuse of psychotic drugs, according to a 2011 analysis by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. In addition, Berry founded the Dementia Care Foundation in order to help low-income seniors gain access to person-centered health care. One colleague says, “Judy is committed to use her hard-earned life experience to [create] change in dementia care.”