FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE | July 24, 2014
ALABAMA ADULT DAY CENTER BECOMES FIRST IN STATETO EARN 'EXCELLENCE IN CARE' DISTINCTION FROM ALZHEIMER'S FOUNDATION OF AMERICA
NEW YORK (July 24, 2014) —The Alzheimer's Foundation of America (AFA) today announced that Caring Days, a non-profit adult day center in Tuscaloosa, Ala., has achieved AFA's "Excellence in Care" distinction. It is the first organization in the state of Alabama to have met the rigorous standards of care to qualify for this status.
"Caring Days truly exemplifies the intent of our Excellence in Care program—to elevate the quality of care for people with dementia," said Charles J. Fuschillo, Jr., AFA's chief executive officer. "The Alzheimer's Foundation of America is proud to recognize this organization for providing its clients with optimal physical and mental care, and nurturing their spirits."
To earn the status of "Excellence in Care Dementia Care Program of Distinction," Caring Days underwent a comprehensive on-site evaluation and consultation by an Excellence in Specialist to ensure compliance with AFA's national standards on care quality and ability to sustain performance.
Founded in 1994, by members of First Presbyterian Church in Tuscaloosa who recognized a need for an adult day program for people experiencing memory loss, Caring Days is now supported by 22 congregations of various denominations that collaborate to provide engaging activities for people with Alzheimer's disease and related illnesses.
In 2012, Caring Days opened a new adult day center, which can accommodate up to 50 people Monday through Friday, from 7:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m.—longer hours than traditional day programs. The organization focuses on providing person-centered care, and offers activities that include e art and music therapy, games, tactile stimulation, and a men's club.
"Everything we do, we do because we care about our folks," said Vicki Kerr, executive director at Caring Days. "With our new building, we wanted to set the standard for our state and achieving the Excellence in Care distinction was the first step in doing so."
Research shows that education and supportive services, such as the adult day program offered by Caring Days can help family caregivers keep loved ones living at home longer and delay costly nursing home placement.
AFA's national standards for dementia care settings include safety and security features, staff training, activities, interpersonal communication, and meeting clients' physiological, functional and social needs. Assisted living and skilled nursing facilities, adult day programs, and continuum of care residential communities can apply for the evaluation. At present, there are 44 Excellence in Care facilities nationwide.
Currently, as many as 5.1 million people in the U.S. have been diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease, and the incidence is projected to nearly triple by mid-century.
For more information about AFA's Excellence in Care program, or to apply for an evaluation, visit www.excellenceincare.org. For information about Caring Days, visit www.caringdays.org.
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About Alzheimer’s Foundation of America (AFA)
The Alzheimer's Foundation of America, based in New York, is a national nonprofit organization that unites more than 1,700 member organizations nationwide with the goal of providing optimal care and services to individuals confronting dementia, and to their caregivers and families. Its services include a toll-free helpline staffed by licensed social workers, educational materials, a free quarterly magazine for caregivers, and professional training. For more information about AFA, call toll-free 866-232-8484, visit www.alzfdn.org, follow us on Twitter, or connect with us on Facebook.
Contact: Amanda (Hirschhorn) Secor