Alzheimer's Foundation of America
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE | November 17, 2006

Alzheimer's Foundation of America Sets Standard of Excellence for Dementia Settings

NEW YORK, NY—As part of its ongoing efforts to raise the bar on dementia care, the Alzheimer's Foundation of America (AFA) has developed a nationwide standard of excellence for settings that provide care to individuals with Alzheimer's disease or related dementias.

The new initiative, called Excellence in Care, involves on-site evaluations of dementia care settings and assistance in meeting the comprehensive set of standards. The standards reflect what AFA believes to be essential components of any quality dementia care program.

Facilities that comply with the standards will earn the status of AFA Excellence in Care Dementia Program of Distinction.

This is believed to be the first national program involving standards and on-site evaluation for dementia care settings, such as assisted living and skilled nursing facilities, continuum of care residential communities, adult day and adult day healthcare care programs.

“As the incidence of Alzheimer's disease continues to rise, this population deserves to be cared for in settings that meet a gold standard. Quality of life and safety are paramount,” said Eric J. Hall, AFA's chief executive officer.

“Through Excellence in Care, we hope to promote continual improvement of care and best practices throughout the country. This program gives care settings the opportunity to ensure that optimal care is given to their clients, and it will assist families as they select programs for their loved ones,” he said.

AFA designed the program with input from the Avila Institute of Gerontology, an AFA member organization based in Germantown, NY that provides high-quality education programs, as well as other AFA member organizations, national organizations and industry experts.

Areas of evaluation include the physical environment, safety procedures, program activities, staff-client interaction, and training of staff and families.

AFA's trained Excellence in Care specialists will conduct the on-site evaluations, and they will collaborate with settings found to have shortcomings to upgrade their programs to meet the requirements.

AFA's first class of Excellence in Care specialists was trained this past month and will begin evaluating facilities that sign up for the Excellence in Care program.

The Alzheimer's Foundation of America is a national nonprofit organization headquartered in New York and is made up of hundreds of member organizations that provide hands-on programs to meet the educational, emotional, practical and social needs of families. AFA's services include a toll-free hot line, counseling, educational materials, a free caregiver magazine, and professional training. For information, call (toll-free) 866-AFA-8484 or visit www.alzfdn.org .

Contact: Carol Steinberg
Phone: 866-AFA-8484