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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE | February 2, 2009

Two Illinois Assisted Living Facilities Receive ‘Excellence in Dementia Care’ Status

NEW YORK, NY — The Alzheimer’s Foundation of America (AFA) recently awarded its “Excellence in Care Dementia Care Program of Distinction” status to two assisted living residences in Illinois that specialize in caring for individuals with Alzheimer’s disease and related illnesses.

Earning this distinction are Sunrise Assisted Living of Wilmette, Wilmette, IL, and Sycamore Village Assisted Living, Swansea, IL.

They join about a dozen other dementia care settings in various states that have undergone the voluntary evaluation and successfully met AFA’s Excellence in Care standards, which AFA believes reflect the essential components of any quality dementia care program. Also in Illinois, The Birches-Encore Memory Care Unit, Clarendon Hills, IL, received the status last year. Currently, other facilities nationwide are in various stages of the Excellence in Care process.

“It is an honor to award the Excellence in Care distinction to these two residences because it signifies that they have met what we consider to be the gold standard of care. Their best practices, as well as their compassion for and commitment to the dementia population shine through,” said Eric J. Hall, president and 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 assessing a setting’s physical environment, safety procedures, program activities, staff-client interaction and staff training.

 Diana Iacobucci, the executive director of Sunrise of Wilmette, said the residence is “delighted and proud” to earn this distinction.

“Our intimate, home-like environment fosters our residents’ independence.  We welcome residents with dementia in any stage of the disease,” she said.

Specializing in memory care, Sunrise of Wilmette features resident-centered 24-hour care, dedicated memory care programming and specially trained staff who focus on creating life-enriching experiences for its 32 residents each day.

At Sycamore Village, the administrator, Kendra Garnto, said, “This distinction is a verification of our commitment to the care for individuals in our community suffering from memory loss, without denying them the dignity they, and their families, deserve. It’s a public statement of recognition that, upon examination from an impartial expert in the field, Sycamore has been found to be providing the highest level of care.”

Sycamore Village, which is the only memory enrichment assisted living community in its area, maintains a highly-trained staff, secure environment with 24-hour personalized care and a person-centered approach based on the unique needs of each of its 118 residents. It also holds monthly support groups for family members of residents and at-home caregivers in the community.

AFA developed Excellence in Care with input from the Avila Institute of Gerontology, an AFA member organization, as well as other AFA member organizations, national organizations and industry experts. About 70 AFA-trained Excellence in Care specialists in various regions 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.

For more information about Excellence in Care, visit or call 866-AFA-8484.

The Alzheimer’s Foundation of America is a national nonprofit organization headquartered in New York and made up of more than 950 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 helpline, counseling, educational materials, a free caregiver magazine, and professional training. For information, call (Toll-Free Helpline) 866-AFA-8484 or visit


Contact: Carol Steinberg
Phone: 866-AFA-8484