Alzheimer’s Care Selection Criteria

Admission/Discharge Criteria

  • What limits are there on admission (must the person be able to walk, diagnosis etc.)
  • What would make the facility ask my loved one to move off the unit?
  • Will I get these criteria in writing?

Program Philosophy and Goals

  • Minimum use of restraints and medications
  • Ensure dignity, safety and family involvement

Plan of Care

  • Customized for each resident
  • Planning involves a “team” approach


  • Full-time program director and activity director
  • Knowledgeable of disease process and care techniques
  • Ongoing education and training by well informed professional sources
  • Staff to resident ratio – all 3 shifts
  • Specialist in dementia care

Program Structure

  • Individually tailored activities 7 days/week
  • Activities focused on resident abilities
  • Large group, small group and one to one caregiver to resident ratio


  • Self-contained, secure, cheerful, calm
  • Enclosed courtyard/backyard
  • Separate dining and activity space
  • Simple floor plan with visual cues
  • No odors


  • Between meal snacks
  • Family style dining
  • Food presentation techniques that ease and encourage eating

Family Services

  • Support group meetings
  • Education, counseling
  • Newsletter
  • Involvement in care planning

Any adult care home that advertises that it has a “special care unit” must have a disclosure statement available for the consumer. This statement discusses the policies and procedures a home has established regarding the following:

  • The philosophy of the unit including use of restraints, flexible lifestyle including appropriate individual activities, promotion of the highest possible level of physical and mental function, and methods of behavior management which preserve dignity of design of the physical environment
  • The process and criteria for admission to and discharge from the unit.
  • A description of the special care services offered in the unit.
  • Resident assessment and care planning including family opportunities.
  • Safety measures for wandering, falls and aggressive behavior.
  • Staffing in the unit.
  • Staff training based on the special needs of the residents.
  • Physical environment and design features that address resident needs.
  • Activity plans based on personal preferences and needs
  • Opportunity for involvement of families in support programs
  • Additional costs and fees for the special care provided.
Adapted from Rules for Licensing of Adult Care Homes, 10 NCAC42D .1905 Special Care Unit Policies and Procedures.

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