woman with dementia sitting in chair

The Alzheimer’s Association and The Joint Commission on Thursday announced a collaboration designed to help improve quality and safety in dementia care in assisted living communities, nursing homes and skilled nursing facilities.

The organizations said they will partner to evaluate ongoing scientific issues, standards and performance measures, and quality improvement initiatives, as well as to provide education programs and presentations and share data with the public. 

“Initially, the collaboration will provide an opportunity to recognize nursing care centers that are meeting state-of-the-art standards and implementing best practices for dementia care,” said Gina Zimmermann, executive director of nursing care centers and assisted living community services at The Joint Commission. “I look forward to expanding this collaboration to assisted living communities that provide memory care.”

The collaboration will begin with an update to The Joint Commission’s Memory Care Certification requirements, effective July 1. MCC is an add-on certification program available to Joint Commission-accredited nursing care centers that work to help residents function at the highest cognitive level possible. 

The update includes 10 new and four revised requirements that reflect current scientific evidence and best practices in long-term care and memory care. The requirements align with the Alzheimer’s Association Dementia Care Practice Recommendations.

“The Alzheimer’s Association is pleased The Joint Commission recognizes the value and importance of incorporating our Dementia Care Practice Recommendations into this updated certification,” said Beth Kallmyer, MSW, vice president of care and support at the Alzheimer’s Association. “We believe certification will not only enhance dementia care but also will be an important consideration for families seeking nursing care.” 

Joint Commission accreditation and certification information also will be included on the Alzheimer’s Association’s Community Resource Finder, a database of dementia and aging-related resources for individuals, families and caregivers.

“It is important for The Joint Commission to collaborate with the Alzheimer’s Association, the nation’s leading voice on dementia and other memory-related issues, to help improve care for patients and residents in nursing care centers and assisted living communities,” Zimmermann said.

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