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Alzheimer's Foundation of America and Samarion(SM) Form Strategic Alliance to Enhance Care for Individuals with Dementia
Date:7/9/2009

Partnership will focus on innovative technologies and enhanced caregiver training

NEW YORK, July 9 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Alzheimer's Foundation of America (AFA), New York, NY, and Samarion Inc., Jackson, MS, announced today that they have formed a strategic partnership to address the critical need for optimal dementia care through Samarion's quality improvement technology and AFA's enhanced training programs for healthcare professionals.

Samarion's Enterprise Quality Improvement System is designed to ensure the safety, security and privacy of individuals at risk for falls, wandering, elopement, abuse and neglect. The unique system monitors all aspects of ambulation, socialization and related activities of daily living to promote the healthiest and safest environment possible. The Samarion system is currently installed at two facilities and planned for dozens more across the country.

AFA's professional training branch, Dementia Care Professionals of America, provides comprehensive training for the safe and effective care of individuals with Alzheimer's disease and related dementias, and sets standards of excellence through its qualification designation. Currently, more than 3,500 professionals have obtained the status of AFA Qualified Dementia Care Provider or AFA Qualified Dementia Care Specialist.

Under the partnership, AFA and Samarion will work together to establish and enhance integrated technological and training systems for myriad settings, including residences, assisted living facilities and skilled nursing homes, as well as assist in the transitions in care environments.

"The enormous care challenges posed by Alzheimer's disease call for novel solutions, collaboration and a combination of high tech and high touch," said Eric J. Hall, AFA's president and CEO.

"Samarion's pioneering and innovative technology offers protection and dignity for individuals with dementia while addressing critical areas of concern for both family and professional caregivers," he added. "This partnership adds another vital dimension to AFA's ongoing efforts to reduce safety risks, and is based on our like-minded missions to provide optimal services and quality assurance to the dementia community by adopting new approaches that raise the bar on care.

Mark E. Rodgers, chairman and chief executive of Samarion, said, "The Alzheimer's Foundation of America has been the national conscience in defining excellence of care for people with Alzheimer's disease and other dementias. Its renowned training program embodies best practices in every aspect of care."

"Coupled with our current and future quality improvement technologies, we will together usher in a new era of care that is vitally needed," Rodgers said. "It is my sincere hope that our partnership will also initiate a national discussion, bringing together all stakeholders to develop a unified plan that will reform and enhance dementia care."

The strategic alliance comes as the nation faces a rising incidence of Alzheimer's disease in line with the aging population. Currently, it is estimated that as many as 4.5 million Americans have the brain disorder, characterized by loss of memory and other intellectual function. With age the greatest known risk factor, the number of cases doubles every five years between ages 65 and 95. Alzheimer's disease is the seventh leading cause of death in the United States.

The Alzheimer's Foundation of America (AFA) is a national nonprofit organization based in New York that focuses on providing optimal care to individuals with Alzheimer's disease and related illnesses, and their families, and unites more than 1,200 member organizations nationwide that provide hands-on programs. AFA's services include a toll-free hot line with counseling by licensed social workers, a free caregiver magazine, National Memory Screening Day, and training and qualification for dementia care professionals. For information, call 866-AFA-8484 or visit www.alzfdn.org.

Samarion, Inc. is a privately held healthcare technology corporation based in Jackson, MS, solely dedicated to improving the quality of elder care. The company's innovative Enterprise Quality Improvement System -- SamarionSolution -- was developed and established to provide caregivers much-needed tools to achieve a higher standard of excellence in nursing homes and long-term specialty care facilities. Its technology includes SamarionPrevention, a unique blend of sophisticated technologies that incorporates image analysis software and intelligent alerting to reduce unassisted bed exits. For information, call 866-QLTY-LTC or visit www.samarion.com.


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SOURCE Alzheimer's Foundation of America
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