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The Joint Commission, in Collaboration with the Alzheimer’s Association, Launches Memory Care Certification for Assisted Living Communities

The Joint Commission, in Collaboration with the Alzheimer’s Association, Launches Memory Care Certification for Assisted Living Communities
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July 11, 2023
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— Specialty certification recognizes assisted living communities implementing best practices for residents living with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia —

OAKBROOK TERRACE, Ill., July 11, 2023 — The Joint Commission, in collaboration with the Alzheimer’s Association, launched Memory Care Certification for Assisted Living Communities (ALCs) on July 1. The voluntary, specialty certification recognizes Joint Commission-accredited ALCs that meet its standards to support the delivery of high-quality care for residents diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia.

The new certification requirements reflect current evidence-based practices in memory care, align with the Alzheimer’s Association Dementia Care Practice Recommendations, and build on existing requirements for The Joint Commission’s Assisted Living Community Accreditation Program. The requirements also received feedback and expert guidance from a Standards Review Panel and Public Field Review.

The standards specifically address the needs of residents living with dementia, including environment of care requirements that organizations provide visual cues or landmarks in the physical environment to assist with wayfinding, as well as provide an environment in which noises that may overstimulate or distress residents are minimized. Additional requirements address the following domains: human resources; information management; leadership; medication management; the provision of care, treatment and services; and the record of care, treatment and services.

“The Alzheimer’s Association Dementia Care Practice Recommendations represent the gold standard in how person-centered dementia care should be delivered,” said Kristen Clifford, chief program officer, Alzheimer’s Association. “We believe their inclusion in the Joint Commission's new certification program will ensure high quality care in assisted living communities and offer families a valuable measure of quality to consider when selecting a care setting for their family members.”

“Approximately 34% of assisted living community residents have Alzheimer’s disease or other dementias — impacting residents, families and healthcare workers across the nation,” says Gina Zimmermann, executive director, Nursing Care Center and Assisted Living Community Services, The Joint Commission. “It is key that assisted living communities provide these residents with specialized care to meet their unique needs. Memory Care Certification for Assisted Living Communities provides a unique opportunity to recognize those organizations meeting state-of-the-art standards and implementing best practices for dementia care.”

Nearly 50 ALCs across the United States have committed to undergo the optional certification process. ALCs that achieve the certification will be recognized on The Joint Commission’s Quality Check website and on the Alzheimer’s Association and AARP Community Resource Finder. Learn more about Memory Care Certification for Assisted Living Communities.

About The Joint Commission  

Founded in 1951, The Joint Commission seeks to continuously improve healthcare for the public, in collaboration with other stakeholders, by evaluating healthcare organizations and inspiring them to excel in providing safe and effective care of the highest quality and value. The Joint Commission accredits and certifies more than 22,000 healthcare organizations and programs in the United States. An independent, nonprofit organization, The Joint Commission is the nation’s oldest and largest standards-setting and accrediting body in healthcare. Learn more about The Joint Commission at  

About the Alzheimer's Association

The Alzheimer’s Association is a worldwide voluntary health organization dedicated to Alzheimer’s care, support and research. Our mission is to lead the way to end Alzheimer's and all other dementia — by accelerating global research, driving risk reduction and early detection, and maximizing quality care and support. Our vision is a world without Alzheimer's and all other dementia®. Visit or call 800.272.3900.

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