Remember ME - You Me and Dementia

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Alzheimer's Foundation of America Awards Excellence in Dementia Care

The Alzheimer's Foundation of America (AFA) recently awarded its "Excellence in Care Dementia Program of Distinction" status to the nation's first adult day center and three more assisted living facilities that have achieved AFA's nationwide
standard of excellence for facilities that provide care to individuals with
Alzheimer's disease or related illnesses.

The Salvation Army Serendipity Adult Day Center, Anchorage, AK, is the
first adult day center to receive the distinction. Also awarded Excellence
in Care status are the memory care units within these facilities: Warwick
Forest, Newport News, VA; The Catholic Care Center, Bel Aire, KS; and The
Birches, Clarendon Hills, IL.

Last June, The 80th Street Residence, an assisted living residence in
Manhattan, and the dementia care program at Ozanam Hall, a skilled
geriatric and short-term rehabilitation facility in Bayside, NY achieved
the status.

"Our hope is that Excellence in Care makes a bold statement --
re-affirming the quality of care these dementia care settings provide and
encouraging other settings nationwide to reach for this standard of
excellence," said Eric J. Hall, AFA's chief executive officer.

Excellence in Care is believed to be the first national program
involving comprehensive standards, on-site evaluation and consultation to
promote continual performance improvement for dementia care settings, such
as assisted living and skilled nursing facilities, continuum of care
residential communities, and adult day programs.

The voluntary standards are part of AFA's mission to raise the bar on
dementia care in the United States, and reflect what AFA believes to be the
essential components of any quality dementia care program. It also provides
families with a means by which to measure facilities.

AFA introduced its groundbreaking Excellence in Care initiative in
November 2006, after designing the comprehensive program with input from
the Avila Institute of Gerontology, an AFA member organization, as well as
other AFA member agencies, national organizations and industry experts.

In addition to the current Excellence in Care settings, other
facilities nationwide are in various stages of the evaluation process.

AFA's 50 Excellence in Care specialists in various regions conduct
on-site evaluations, consult and make recommendations to comply with the
standards, and work side-by-side with facilities on an ongoing basis to
improve performance and best practices. The evaluation includes assessing a
setting's physical environment, safety procedures, program activities,
staff-client interaction, and dementia care training for staff and

For the Salvation Army Serendipity Adult Day Center, which offers
meaningful activities daily to about 30 adults with special needs, "The
Excellence in Care Dementia Program of Distinction validates what I feel is
the culmination of years of hard work constantly trying to be on the
cutting edge of new and innovative ideas in working with individuals who
live with dementia and their families," said Jesalyn Stanton, the center's
executive director.

"This certification is also an affirmation to our families that they
are receiving the best of care for their loved one," she added.

Jackie Schwab, The Birches' director of the facility's Encore memory
care unit, is also proud to receive the distinction.

"We educate ourselves in as many things that are offered out there to
create the best place for our residents. We call the things we learn
'tools' in our toolbox of care," she said. "The Excellence in Care is
important because we have added another very useful 'tool' to our box."

For more information about Excellence in Care, visit

The Alzheimer's Foundation of America is a national nonprofit
organization headquartered in New York and made up of hundreds of member
organizations that provide hands-on programs to meet the educational,
emotional, practical and social needs of families affected by Alzheimer's
disease and related illnesses. For more information, visit

Forget yourself for others, and others will never forget you.

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