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Two assisted living and memory care providers have earned certifications for meeting elevated standards of care for people living with dementia.

An Aegis Living memory care community is the first in Washington state to earn The Joint Commission memory care certification for assisted living communities. And across the country, Senior Living Residences has become the first senior living provider to achieve Purple Flag for Dementia Care designation for its entire memory care portfolio.

Aegis Living memory care certification

Aegis Living Kent underwent a rigorous onsite survey with a Joint Commission surveyor covering certification standards, including staff knowledge and competency, medication management process, observation of staff in coordination with residents, and a safe and supportive physical environment.

The certification program is designed to enhance care of memory care residents, enabling them to stay engaged in their surroundings based on their cognitive abilities, and to function at the highest level possible for as long as possible.

Certification standards were developed in collaboration with the Alzheimer’s Association and demonstrate an assisted living community’s commitment to providing high-quality, safe care for residents living with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias.

“Memory care certification recognizes Aegis Living’s commitment to fostering continuous improvement in patient and resident safety and quality of care,” Ken Grubbs, executive vice president of The Joint Commission’s accreditation and certification operations, said in a statement. “We commend Aegis Living Kent for achieving this certification to reduce variation in its clinical processes, and to strengthen its program structure and management framework for people with Alzheimer’s disease or other dementias.”

Raising the Purple Flag

Meanwhile, Braintree, MA-based Senior Living Residences is the first senior housing provider to achieve Purple Flag for Dementia Care across all 14 of its memory care communities.

SLR’s Compass memory support neighborhoods focus on treating the symptoms of dementia in a way meant to prioritize dignity, independence and a focus on what older adults still can do, SLR President and CEO Tadd Clelland said in a statement.

Purple Flag originally was developed in 2019 by the Connecticut Assisted Living Association, the Institute for Senior Living Education and the Alzheimer’s Association Connecticut Chapter to recognize excellence and drive continuous improvement in care quality for people living with dementia. The program has spread across New England, with 26 assisted living communities in Connecticut, Massachusetts and New Hampshire recognized in 2023. Another 20 providers are expected to achieve Purple Flag designation this year.

Assisted living communities, home care agencies and other long-term care providers can apply for Purple Flag designation. Applicants are assessed on their ability to consistently deliver person-centered care, maintain a supportive and therapeutic environment, and offer ongoing staff training and family support.

Purple Flag communities must adhere to 60 practice standards considered essential to caring for someone living with dementia. CALA and Purple Flag President Christpher Carter said that families deserve the highest standard of care.

“When they start their search for a senior care provider, they are often in crisis and can be overwhelmed by the choices ahead of them,” Carter said in a statement. “The Purple Flag symbol makes that search a little easier, identifying communities that have proven their ability to not just care for seniors, but to provide families with resources and reassurance that their loved one’s quality of life is the utmost priority.”