Joint Commission adds memory care accreditation

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New memory care accreditation for nursing homes encourages staff to use a flexible, problem-solving approach to care for those with dementia, according to Joint Commission guidelines.

The organization released new Memory Care requirements for the Nursing Care Accreditation program July 1, with those requirements applicable to all currently accredited nursing care centers, in order to address residents with cognitive impairment.

An additional publication released Tuesday expanded on the basis for these requirements, noting they are rooted in care coordination, staff knowledge and competency, activity programming based on abilities, behavior management and a safe and supportive physical environment. Standards include that a medical director oversee care and treatment of residents and monitoring of psychotropic medications, as well as that the “organization responds effectively to behavioral expressions of unmet needs by patients or residents with dementia.” These requirements can be seen here.

The Joint Commission also introduced its optional Memory Care Certification within its Nursing Care Center Accreditation program this month. The goal is to recognize organizations that have competency in dementia care services, such as specialized care and service programming; advanced staff training; meal, social and recreational experiences for those with dementia; a safe, functional environment; an organizational learning culture; and availability of support groups. 

Those who are interested in receiving Joint Commission certification for their nursing care center can click here.

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