FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE | June 12, 2007
Alzheimer's Foundation of America Awards First Excellence in Dementia Care Status to Two New York Facilities that Meet National Standards
NEW YORK, NY—The Alzheimer's Foundation of America (AFA) recently awarded its “Excellence in Care Dementia Program of Distinction” status to the nation's first two dementia care settings that have successfully achieved AFA's nationwide standard of excellence for facilities that provide care to individuals with Alzheimer's disease or related illnesses. Both settings are located in New York City.
The 80 th Street Residence, an assisted living residence in Manhattan that specializes in Alzheimer's and dementia care, was the first to earn the distinction. Soon afterward, Ozanam Hall, a skilled geriatric and short-term rehabilitation facility in Bayside, achieved the status for its dementia care program.
“This is an enormous distinction for these facilities, and we applaud their dedication to provide the best in care for this deserving population. We hope they serve as role models and challenge other organizations across America to proactively aspire to achieve this gold standard,” said Eric J. Hall, chief executive officer of AFA, a national non-profit organization based in New York.
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 evaluation includes looking at a setting's physical environment, safety procedures, program activities, staff-client interaction, and training for staff and families.
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 essential components of any quality dementia care program.
Clare P. Shanley, executive director of The 80 th Street Residence, called the status “very gratifying. As the only facility in New York City dedicated to memory care, it is fitting that we set the standard for the industry.”
The 80 th Street Residence is located on the Upper East Side of Manhattan and has 69 beds.
“The AFA program is important both to the industry and to our facility. It made us examine how our care program fits together and how we could build a better team to keep growing and exceeding our own expectations,” Shanley said.
She noted that the status is important in other respects. “It highlights the importance of the professional caregivers' job…they're the unsung heroes,” she said. “In addition, this status will help families distinguish premier facilities and give them the comfort of knowing that they've chosen the best facility for their loved ones.”
At Ozanam Hall, where 200 of its 432 residents have Alzheimer's disease, Sister Philip Ann, the facility's administrator, called the Excellence in Care designation “an affirmation of our commitment to the care of the frail elderly in the autumn of their lives.”
“This award is a public statement that an independent group has found that we are providing care at a high level and that such an operation can be maintained by the combination of religious and laypersons committed to the goals of a Christian community. It is wonderful to have the fulfillment of our mission recognized,” she said.
Ozanam Hall is a ministry of the Carmelite Sisters for the Aged and Infirm, one of 21 long-term care facilities under the auspices of the Avila Institute of Gerontology, Germantown, NY.
AFA introduced its Excellence in Care initiative last November, after designing the comprehensive program with input from the Avila Institute of Gerontology, an AFA member organization, as well as other AFA member organizations, national organizations and industry experts.
Since, AFA has trained about 40 Excellence in Care specialists in various regions to conduct on-site evaluations, consult on adjustments to comply with the standards, and work side-by-side with facilities on an ongoing basis to improve performance and best practices.
Currently, other facilities in several states are in various stages of the Excellence in Care process. For more information about Excellence in Care, visit www.excellenceincare.org or call 866-AFA-8484.
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. 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