In Iowa, residential care facilities that provide dementia care are required to receive special classification in memory care and to provide training for staff on how to best meet residents' needs.

Special Classification in Memory Care
ADC 481 [PDF] amends Chapter 57, "Residential Care Facilities," of the Iowa Administrative Code and requires that residential care facilities that care for residents who have memory needs apply for approval to provide memory care. The application for approval must include a résumé of care, which:
  • Describes the population to be served.
  • States the facility's philosophy and objectives.
  • Lists criteria for transfer to and from the memory care unit or facility.
  • Includes a copy of the floor plan.
  • Lists the titles of policies and procedures developed for the unit or facility.
  • Proposes a staffing pattern.
  • Sets out a plan for specialized staff training.
  • Describes programs for activities, social services, and families.
  • Describes the interdisciplinary team and roles.

Staff Training
The amendment also requires all staff working in a memory care unit or facility to receive training appropriate to the needs of residents. All staff are required to receive at least six hours of training within 30 days of beginning work in the unit or facility. Additionally, select staff are required to receive training in:
  • An explanation of Alzheimer's disease and related disorders, including education on symptoms, behavior, and disease progression.
  • Skills for communicating with people who have dementia.
  • Skills for communicating with family members and friends of people who have dementia.
  • An explanation of family issues such as role reversal, grief and loss, guilt, and relinquishing the caregiving role.
  • The importance of planned and spontaneous activities.
  • Skills in providing assistance with activities of daily living.
  • Skills in working with challenging residents.
  • Techniques for cueing, simplifying, and redirecting.
  • Staff support and stress reduction.

Dementia Care Specialists Can Help You Meet the Requirements!

Helping You Train Staff
Dementia care units and facilities across the US use our Dementia Capable Care training program and our dementia care consulting services to raise the standard for memory care. Training focuses on information about Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia, discusses how to communicate with people who have dementia and their families, and centers on how to maximize function, safety, independence, and quality of life for residents with dementia. Download an alignment detailing how you can meet the training requirements [PDF] with Dementia Capable Care training.

Our training can be tailored to the needs of your facility, staff, and residents. With our train-the-trainer option, select staff can be certified to teach the Dementia Capable Care training program to other staff on a continuing basis. We have numerous public programs coming up throughout the US, and customizable on-site training is also available.

Helping You Specialize in Memory Care
If you're building or renovating a dementia care facility, unit, or program, our dementia consulting services can advance your résumé of care. We can help you develop your philosophy and goals, determine staffing roles, design person-centered activities and programs, and train staff in a powerful care model that empowers both residents and staff to thrive.

Whether you're enhancing an existing unit, adding a memory care neighborhood, or implementing a full-scale memory care program, our dementia care consultants have extensive experience in customizing memory care projects [PDF] to meet your needs.