Dementia and Occupational Therapy - Home caregiver and senior adult woman
(Credit: FredFroese / Getty Images)

The Joint Commission is seeking feedback on a new program meant to promote consistent, high-quality dementia care in assisted living communities.

As McKnight’s Senior Living previously reported, the commission is developing a new assisted living community memory care certification program in collaboration with the Alzheimer’s Association. The program is being designed to align with the Alzheimer’s Associaiton’s dementia care practice recommendations.

The organizations’ collaboration, announced in January, initially recognized nursing homes meeting state-of-the-art standards and implementing best practices in dementia care. The memory care certification program now is being expanded to assisted living communities that provide memory care. The program will include requirements addressing the environment, staff training, emergency management, leadership, medication management, resident care, treatment and services, process improvement and more.

Assisted living providers considering the certification are being asked to complete a 14-question survey regarding specific standards as well as questions seeking feedback. Comments will be accepted through Sept. 26.

Last year, The Joint Commission announced a new assisted living community accreditation program, representing its first care continuum expansion in more than 20 years. The commission indicated that the program was needed due to a “shift in the assisted living industry from a more hospitality-based environment to a more healthcare-focused setting that offers services for medication management, skilled nursing and dementia care.”

Last fall, The Selfhelp Home, a nonprofit continuing care retirement community in Chicago, became the first senior living community to achieve the assisted living community accreditation.