gtk noah homes

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Alzheimer’s is tough for any family. When compounded with Down syndrome, cerebral palsy or another developmental disability, care options become increasingly limited.

For this reason, a San Diego nonprofit, Noah Homes is working with community partners to open two pioneering memory care homes in California – the first in the county – for people with developmental disabilities. For more than 30 years, the organization has been pushing the boundaries of innovative residential care, advocacy and collaborative services for this population. This now includes the need for late-stage care as they deal with issues related to aging for the first time. For example, only 30 years ago, someone with Down syndrome was expected to live to be 25 years old. Today, many people with the condition are living happy, healthy lives beyond their sixties. According to Dr. Michael Rafii, director of the University of California San Diego’s Memory Disorders Clinic, people with Down syndrome now also represent the world’s largest population predisposed to succumbing to Alzheimer’s disease; by age 40, the pathology of the disease is present in their brains.

At Noah Homes, 70 men and women, affectionately referred to as “the folks”, celebrate life every day on their beautiful grounds. Unfortunately, more than a third of the folks are beginning to show signs of dementia. For example, Karen arrived at Noah at age 22 with a bright smile that would light up a room. With her parents retiring and moving from San Diego to Arizona, they knew the time had come for Karen to start her own life in a place she could live with her peers. She kept busy with friends and jobs at Pizza Hut and Walmart, but experienced a significant decline in the last four years after being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. Sadly, Karen spent the last five months of her life in an unfamiliar hospital, and passed away February 20, 2015.

Presently, more than 23,000 people with a developmental disability who reside in this region will soon be in need of memory care. In order to provide a loving place for this underserved population to age, Noah Homes is hosting a delicious and fun-filled BBQ and Brewfest fundraiser on June 27 at their beautiful 11-acre campus. As a tribute to Jim Mulvaney Sr., the Mulvaney Family is supporting the event as a title sponsor. Highlights include tri-tip and chicken grilled up by the Sage Family and the Nice Guys, beer tastings from several breweries, music by Woodstock Mud, a live and silent auction, dancing and more.

“This is a great way to give back to the community, and enjoy a fun summer day with family and the folks at our oasis of peace,” Molly Nocon, CEO of Noah Homes tells Giving Back Magazine. “For those who can’t make it, we love giving tours of the campus and the folks love making new friends, so let us know when you’d like to stop by.”

Tickets are available at