Talk to senior living operators about their challenges in 2023 and one area bound to come up is memory care. According to the 2022 Alzheimer’s Association Facts and Figures report, one in every three seniors will die with Alzheimer’s or another dementia.
And there is even more data from the 2022 Alzheimer’s Association Facts and Figures Report that tells the tale, as an estimated 6.5 million Americans aged 65 and older are living with Alzheimer’s, with that figure projected to reach 12.7 million by 2050.
“In order for persons living with dementia to truly live well throughout the course of the disease, long-term and community-based care settings must embrace person-centered care,” says Doug Pace, senior director of long-term and community-based care for Alzheimer’s Association.
The Alzheimer’s Association and The Joint Commission Team Up
As the stats above reveal, memory care challenges are a major element of care in assisted living communities, and the Alzheimer’s Association is taking a transformative approach to help senior living operators meet their residents’ memory care needs. Pace and his colleague Dr. Sam Fazio worked with 27 researchers in 2018 to develop 56 dementia care practice recommendations over 10 topic areas. The recommendations, all grounded in person-centered care, give senior living operators and staff members tools for working with memory care residents.
“It starts with knowing the person and always putting the person before the task and then using every interaction or task as an opportunity for engagement,” Pace says. “All settings must include dedicated quality improvement practices as a normal part of their business with measurable reportable outcomes.”
Partnering with The Joint Commission is the next step in that journey.
The two leading organizations are teaming up to build a new memory care certification program for senior living operators. The new program is expected to launch in July 2023 and will allow operators to bolster their memory care services and deliver better care to residents while attracting staff members who are also dedicated to memory care services.
In short, the new partnership from Alzheimer’s Association and The Joint Commission has a real chance to rewrite memory care delivery for assisted living communities.
Helping Consumers Make Informed Decisions
Alzheimer’s Association’s goal is that the new certification will not only enhance dementia care but will also be an important consideration for families who are seeking assisted living services.
“We know that the more information that families have, the better equipped they are to make informed decisions,” Pace says. “We believe that this collaboration is another way that consumers can really have confidence when seeking a community for themselves or their loved one.”
This article is sponsored by The Joint Commission. To learn more about The Joint Commission’s accreditation program for assisted living communities and its soon-to-be-launched memory care certification option, reach out to its Business Development team by calling 630-792-5020, emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or visiting www.JointCommission.org/alc.
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