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Memory Care Certification through The Joint Commission Now Available for Assisted Living Communities

In a July 11, 2023 press release from the Alzheimer’s Association, The Joint Commission announced its voluntary, specialty certification: Memory Care for Assisted Living Communities. This certification reflects “evidence-based practices in memory care, align with the Alzheimer’s Association Dementia Care Practice Recommendations, and build on existing requirements for the Joint Commission’s Assisted Living Community Accreditation Program.

According to the article, 34% of ALC have residents living with Alzheimer’s disease or other dementia and it is important to ensure those residents are provided the specialized care to meet their unique needs. The Dementia Care Practice Recommendations represent the gold standard in how person-centered dementia care should be delivered.

Another tool to ensure person-centered care is provided to those individuals living with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias is advance care planning (ACP). ACP ensures that your residents and families have had a chance to discuss their understanding of the disease, what is likely to happen as the disease progresses, benefits/burdens of medical interventions they may be faced with as the disease progresses, options for care including palliative care and eventually hospice care as one faces end stage disease.

This conversation will help ensure that future healthcare decisions are made through informed consent and reflect the personal values and preferences of each individual.  Having the conversation earlier in the disease process allows the individual living with the disease to express their hopes, fears, and what matters most to them as the disease worsens.

The Conversation Project has Conversation Starter Guides for Caregivers of People with Alzheimer’s or Other Forms of Dementia that would be helpful to use with residents, families and even staff. Their Spanish version has newly updated content that includes messaging around the use of denial language/understanding, additional tips to support caregivers and more. It is also available in Chinese.

According to the article, The Joint Commission’s Memory Care Certification for Assisted Living Communities “provided a unique opportunity to recognize those organizations meeting state of the art standards and implementing best practices for dementia care.” Combining Advance Care Planning for all ALC residents along with certification will ensure the best patient centered care possible for your residents.

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