Achieve Accreditation 2021 Announcements:

Achieve Accreditation receives national recognition in McKnight’s Senior Living for guiding first accredited assisted living in the nation.

September 20, 2021 

Joint Commission awards first assisted living accreditation

A nonprofit continuing care retirement community in Chicago on Friday became the first senior living community to achieve The Joint Commission’s assisted living community accreditation.

The designation went to The Selfhelp Home.

“Joint Commission accreditation gives us the same opportunity to certify the quality and value we provide in assisted living that we’ve proven in our skilled nursing unit and demonstrates our commitment to providing the best care to our residents,” Sheila Bogen, the community’s executive director, said in a statement.

The commission announced the assisted living program earlier this year, representing its first care continuum expansion in more than 20 years. The program is needed, according to the body, because of “a shift in the assisted living industry from a more hospitality-based environment to a more healthcare-focused setting that offers services for medication management, skilled nursing and dementia care.”

The program’s standards address the environment, staffing, emergency management, dementia care, medication management, provision of care and services, process improvement and more. In addition to standards, the program requires organizations to track and report on five standardized performance measures: off-label antipsychotic drug use, resident falls, resident preferences and goals of care, advanced care plan/surrogate decision-maker, and staff stability.

“Being the first community to participate in the new accreditation program serves as an important marker for all assisted living communities to follow Selfhelp Home’s lead, equal the playing field, and ensure consistent and reliable care is delivered for all residents,” Gina Zimmermann, executive director of Nursing Care Center and Assisted Living Community Services at The Joint Commission, said in a statement. 

The CCRC worked toward accreditation with the assistance of Kathleen O’Connor, president and founder of Achieve Accreditation, a Joint Commission readiness national expert. O’Connor said it was “our greatest honor and privilege” to assist Selfhelp in becoming the first community to accomplish the accreditation requirements.

Author: Lois A. Bowers

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