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Pennsylvania Senior Organization Becomes First to Earn System-Wide 'Excellence in Care' Distinction From Alzheimer's Foundation of America

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwired - May 08, 2014) - The Alzheimer's Foundation of America (AFA) today announced that Phoebe Ministries, a non-profit organization based in Allentown, Pa., has achieved AFA's "Excellence in Care" distinction for all of its specialized memory care programs at seven senior adult continuum of care communities throughout Pennsylvania. This marks the first time an organization has applied for and attained system-wide fulfillment of AFA's national standards for dementia care settings.

Founded in 1903 and affiliated with the United Church of Christ, Phoebe Ministries offers a full spectrum of services and communities to suit the diverse housing needs of older adults living in seven Pennsylvania counties. In recognition of the growing needs of individuals with dementia, Phoebe unveiled the Center for Excellence in Dementia Care in 2012. The center is responsible for ensuring best practices in dementia care across all of Phoebe's services, providing leadership in the field, and developing home and community-based services for individuals with dementia.

"As the incidence of Alzheimer's disease continues to rise, there has never been a greater need for uniform standards that ensure quality of care," said Charles J. Fuschillo, Jr., AFA's chief executive officer. "The Alzheimer's Foundation of America is proud to recognize an organization like Phoebe Ministries that raises the bar on care and embraces the concept of providing people with dementia with the dignity and the supportive environment they deserve."

Kelly O'Shea Carney, Ph.D., CMC, executive director of the Phoebe Center for Excellence in Dementia Care, said Phoebe Ministries "is delighted to be recognized as the first organization in the country to have achieved the Excellence in Care designation across all of our specialized memory support care programs."

"We pursued the EIC designation as a way to validate the quality services we provide to individuals with dementia and as a valuable opportunity to benefit from the expertise provided by AFA through the survey process," she said. "To be acknowledged as the first organization to achieve system-wide Excellence in Care distinction is simply an added benefit to participating in the process."

AFA's Excellence in Care program, built with input from industry experts, consists of a comprehensive on-site evaluation and consultation on strategies to ensure care quality and sustain performance. Assisted living and skilled nursing facilities, adult day care and adult day healthcare programs, and continuum of care residential communities can apply for the evaluation.

Currently, as many as 5.1 million people in the U.S. have been diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease, and the incidence is projected to nearly triple by mid-century. Studies indicate that nationally as many as 70 percent of residents in skilled nursing facilities show some level of cognitive impairment.

For more information about AFA's Excellence in Care program, or to apply for an evaluation, visit www.excellenceincare.org. For information about Phoebe Ministries, visit www.phoebe.org.

About Alzheimer's Foundation of America (AFA)

The Alzheimer's Foundation of America, based in New York, is a national nonprofit organization that unites more than 1,700 member organizations nationwide with the goal of providing optimal care and services to individuals confronting dementia, and to their caregivers and families. Its services include a toll-free hot line staffed by licensed social workers, educational materials, a free quarterly magazine for caregivers, and professional training. For more information about AFA, call toll-free 866-232-8484, visit www.alzfdn.org, follow us on Twitter (@alzfdn), and "like" us on Facebook (facebook.com/AlzheimersFoundationofAmerica).

About Phoebe Ministries

Phoebe Ministries is a non-profit, multi-facility organization specializing in healthcare, housing, and support services for seniors. Founded in 1903 and affiliated with the United Church of Christ, Phoebe Ministries offers a full continuum of care to suit the diverse needs of senior adults. Located in seven Pennsylvania counties and serving thousands of seniors annually, Phoebe features four continuing care retirement communities, eight affordable housing facilities, and two pharmacies. For over a century Phoebe's tradition of excellence and passion for caring have made us the leader in care for senior adults and their family members. For more information about Phoebe Ministries, call toll free 800-453-8814, visit www.phoebe.org, "like" us on Facebook (facebook.com/phoebeservingseniors) or visit our YouTube page (youtube.com/phoebeservingseniors).

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