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Alzheimer's Foundation of America Awards Excellence in Dementia Care Status to First Adult Day Center, More Long-Term Care Settings

NEW YORK, Dec. 19 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Alzheimer's Foundation of America (AFA) recently awarded its "Excellence in Care Dementia Program of Distinction" status to the nation's first adult day center and three more assisted living facilities that have achieved AFA's nationwide standard of excellence for facilities that provide care to individuals with Alzheimer's disease or related illnesses.

The Salvation Army Serendipity Adult Day Center, Anchorage, AK, is the first adult day center to receive the distinction. Also awarded Excellence in Care status are the memory care units within these facilities: Warwick Forest, Newport News, VA; The Catholic Care Center, Bel Aire, KS; and The Birches, Clarendon Hills, IL.

Last June, The 80th Street Residence, an assisted living residence in Manhattan, and the dementia care program at Ozanam Hall, a skilled geriatric and short-term rehabilitation facility in Bayside, NY achieved the status.

"Our hope is that Excellence in Care makes a bold statement -- re-affirming the quality of care these dementia care settings provide and encouraging other settings nationwide to reach for this standard of excellence," said Eric J. Hall, AFA's chief executive officer.

Excellence in Care is believed to be the first national program involving comprehensive standards, on-site evaluation and consultation to promote continual performance improvement for dementia care settings, such as assisted living and skilled nursing facilities, continuum of care residential communities, and adult day programs.

The voluntary standards are part of AFA's mission to raise the bar on dementia care in the United States, and reflect what AFA believes to be the essential components of any quality dementia care program. It also provides families with a means by which to measure facilities.

AFA introduced its groundbreaking Excellence in Care initiative in November 2006, after designing the comprehensive program with input from the Avila Institute of Gerontology, an AFA member organization, as well as other AFA member agencies, national organizations and industry experts.

In addition to the current Excellence in Care settings, other facilities nationwide are in various stages of the evaluation process.

AFA's 50 Excellence in Care specialists in various regions conduct on-site evaluations, consult and make recommendations to comply with the standards, and work side-by-side with facilities on an ongoing basis to improve performance and best practices. The evaluation includes assessing a setting's physical environment, safety procedures, program activities, staff-client interaction, and dementia care training for staff and families.

For the Salvation Army Serendipity Adult Day Center, which offers meaningful activities daily to about 30 adults with special needs, "The Excellence in Care Dementia Program of Distinction validates what I feel is the culmination of years of hard work constantly trying to be on the cutting edge of new and innovative ideas in working with individuals who live with dementia and their families," said Jesalyn Stanton, the center's executive director.

"This certification is also an affirmation to our families that they are receiving the best of care for their loved one," she added.

Jackie Schwab, The Birches' director of the facility's Encore memory care unit, is also proud to receive the distinction.

"We educate ourselves in as many things that are offered out there to create the best place for our residents. We call the things we learn 'tools' in our toolbox of care," she said. "The Excellence in Care is important because we have added another very useful 'tool' to our box."

For more information about Excellence in Care, visit or call 866-AFA-8484.

The Alzheimer's Foundation of America is a national nonprofit organization headquartered in New York and made up of hundreds of member organizations that provide hands-on programs to meet the educational, emotional, practical and social needs of families affected by Alzheimer's disease and related illnesses. For more information, visit or call 866-AFA-8484.

SOURCE Alzheimer's Foundation of America
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