Just launched: Memory Care Certification for Assisted Living Communities
The Joint Commission, in collaboration with the Alzheimer’s Association, launched Memory Care Certification for Assisted Living Communities (ALCs) on July 1. The voluntary, specialty certification recognizes Joint Commission-accredited ALCs that meet its standards to support the delivery of high-quality care for residents diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia.
The new certification requirements:
- Reflect current evidence-based practices in memory care.
- Align with the Alzheimer’s Association Dementia Care Practice Recommendations.
- Build on existing requirements for The Joint Commission’s Assisted Living Community Accreditation Program.
The requirements received feedback and expert guidance from a review panel and public field review. The standards specifically address the needs of residents living with dementia, including environment of care requirements that organizations provide visual cues or landmarks in the physical environment to assist with wayfinding, as well as provide an environment in which noises that may overstimulate or distress residents are minimized. Additional requirements address the following domains: human resources; information management; leadership; medication management; the provision of care, treatment and services; and the record of care, treatment and services.
“Approximately 34% of assisted living community residents have Alzheimer’s disease or other dementias — impacting residents, families and healthcare workers across the nation,” said Gina Zimmermann, executive director, Nursing Care Center and Assisted Living Community Services, The Joint Commission, in a news release. “It is key that assisted living communities provide these residents with specialized care to meet their unique needs. Memory Care Certification for Assisted Living Communities provides a unique opportunity to recognize those organizations meeting state-of-the-art standards and implementing best practices for dementia care."
Nearly 50 ALCs across the United States have committed to undergo the optional certification process. ALCs that achieve the certification will be recognized on The Joint Commission’s Quality Check website and on the Alzheimer’s Association and AARP Community Resource Finder.