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Our Collaboration with Alzheimer’s Association

An estimated 6.2 million Americans aged 65 and older live with Alzheimer’s and roughly 48% of nursing home residents have Alzheimer’s or other dementias. To address the quality and safety needs of this growing community, The Joint Commission is collaborating with the Alzheimer’s Association on its Memory Care Certification for Nursing Care Centers program.

An Enhanced Certification for Memory Care

This certification helps organizations minimize risk and improve care for patients and residents with all levels of cognitive impairment, focusing on the coordination and delivery of specialized care and programming, staff competency and training, the safety of the physical environment of care and support services for the families of residents and patients with dementia.

Now in effect are new and revised requirements that align with the Alzheimer’s Association Dementia Care Practice Recommendations. Constructed with input from a Standards Review Panel (SRP) and Public Field Reviews, these enhancements reflect best practices in memory care and provide an evidence-based approach toward ensuring the highest quality care for people living with Alzheimer’s and other dementia in nursing care centers.

Eligibility and Pricing

This certification is available to organizations that have achieved or are currently seeking accreditation through our Nursing Care Center Accreditation Program. Organizations have the option to obtain this certification during their scheduled accreditation survey or, for an additional fee, can request an extension survey to obtain it at any time during the during the 3-year accreditation cycle.

To be eligible for Memory Care Certification for Nursing Care Centers, The Joint Commission requires organizations to have an organized approach to the care, treatment and services provided to this special patient population. Providers must also have served a minimum of five patients or residents within their memory care program with a minimum of two active patients at the time of survey. Certification fees are distributed over the three-year certification cycle, with an average cost of less than $600 per year.

Market Distinction in Memory Care

Our program provides a unique opportunity to recognize nursing care centers that are meeting state-of-the-art standards and implementing best practices for dementia care. Your information will be submitted for inclusion in the Alzheimer’s Association Community Resource Finder, a database of dementia and aging-related resources for those seeking programs and services. Organizations meeting the certification requirements will also be able to promote their achievement using The Gold Seal of Approval® and the designated certification mark shown below. View our publicity kit for ideas, guidelines, and resources to help you promote your achievement.

Alzheimer's association Nursing Care logo

Learn the Process

Whether you’re new to the Joint Commission or are looking for guidance after your survey or review, you’ll have plenty of ongoing support. If you’re pursuing certification for the first time, a member of our Business Development team will help you determine eligibility and provide access to the certification standards and other helpful resources. Once your application and deposit has been submitted, an Account Executive will then become your primary, ongoing “go to” person to help you through the process before, during and after the survey.

Curious what your path to certification looks like? Here are six quick steps to guide you through the process with confidence:

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Connect with Us

Get in touch with our team to learn more about how certification can benefit your organization.
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Review the Requirements

To get started, familiarize yourself with the certification process and what it means for your organization. Request 90-day free trial access to our online certification standards manual
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Assess Your Readiness

Once you know what requirements apply to you, you’ll need to determine where you are already meeting the requirements, and where policies or procedures will need to change.
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Complete Your Application

When you are ready to apply, get in touch with our team to begin the application process.
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Participate in Your On-Site Review

Plan how you want to describe your program in the opening conference and decide who will accompany the surveyor during the review.
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Promote Your Achievement

When you’ve attained The Gold Seal of Approval – let the world know! Explore our publicity kit for tips and artwork to use.

Contact Us

Still have questions? Our team of experts can help. Tell us what’s on your mind and one of our friendly staff will reach out. Looking for additional ways to distinguish your organization? View the additional certifications we offer to providers.