A New England-based assisted living provider is the first in the nation to seek dementia care accreditation for its entire portfolio of memory care communities through Purple Flag for Dementia Care.
Senior Living Residences is partnering with Purple Flag to provide dementia care services to its residents living with Alzhiemr’s disease and other dementias.
Purple Flag is a collaboration between the Connecticut Assisted Living Association, Institute for Senior Living Education and the Alzheimer’s Association Connecticut Chapter. The Purple Flag for Dementia Care steering committee began meeting in 2017 to create the initiative, making its first flag accreditation award in 2020 to McLean Assisted Living in Simsbury, CT.
CALA President Christopher Carter told McKnight’s Senior Living that the initiative was formed to create a best practice and branding initiative that encourages seniors housing and aging services providers to aspire to excellence in memory care. The initiative also works to demonstrate to public policy makers and regulators that the industry proactively addresses the evolving needs of consumers and the marketplace.
Carter added that a highly visible symbol — the purple flag — assures consumers that a provider sought and achieved best-in-class status among competitors. Assisted living communities, other long-term care facilities, home care agencies and other settings can apply for the program, which offers enhanced staff education, a commitment to best practices and adherence to the statements of quality contained in the Alzheimer’s Association’s Dementia Care Practice Recommendations.
SLR saw the Purple Flag accreditation as a match for its own Compass Memory Support program, which takes a holistic, person-centered approach to memory care by treating the symptoms of cognitive impairment through therapeutic and social interventions.
Three of its 18 managed communities — Farmington Station in Farmington, CT; Ridgefield Station in Ridgefield, CT; and Compass on the Bay in Boston, MA (the first Purple Flag accredited community outside of Connecticut) — have achieved Purple Flag accreditation. This year, SLR is prioritizing that its 14 managed communities with memory support neighborhoods achieve Purple Flag accreditation, with plans to eventually pursue accreditation for all of its managed assisted living communities.
“We believe there is a right way to care for those living with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia — not just those living in our memory support neighborhoods, but in our traditional assisted living setting as well,” SLR President and CEO Tadd Clelland said in a statement.
Clelland added that an estimated 40% of residents in assisted living communities have Alzheimer’s disease or another dementia, elevating the need for quality dementia care and services. SLR operates 18 senior living communities throughout New England.
SLR’s leadership in three of its communities achieving Purple Flag accreditation showcased the providers “passion and commitment to best practices,” CALA President Christopher Carter said in a statement.
“It is hoped that this accreditation award continues to raise awareness of the Purple Flag for Dementia Care initiative, and we commend SLR for their continuous quality assurance efforts in resident safety and quality of care,” Carter said.
McLean, a life plan community in Simsbury, CT, was the first community to achieve accreditation, in 2020.
Eleven senior living settings have earned Purple Flag accreditation, including Masonicare, which has two communities accredited under the Purple Flag designation — Masonicare at Mystic in Mystic, CT, and Masonicare at Ashlar Village, a continuing care retirement community in Wallingford, CT. Other Purple Flag-accredited communities in the Nutmeg State include Maplewood at Stony Hill in Bethel, CT, and The Greens at Greenwich in Greenwich, CT.
Carter said 15 submissions and 20 applications for Purple Flag accreditation are pending.