Heritage House of Atlantic Awarded Excellence in Care Dementia Program of Distinction Status

Excellence in Care

posted on Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Heritage House is First Organization in Iowa to Achieve This Status

ATLANTIC, Iowa —July 14, 2015—The Alzheimer's Foundation of America (AFA) has announced that Heritage House, a WesleyLife Community for Healthy Living located in Atlantic, Iowa, has achieved AFA’s “Excellence in Care® Dementia Program of Distinction” status for its specialized memory care program. Heritage House is the first organization in Iowa to achieve this prestigious status.

“This certification is an affirmation to families that their loves ones are receiving the best care,” said Heritage House Executive Director Karen Bentsen.

Established in 1962, Heritage House offers a full spectrum of services for older adults and is committed to transforming the aging experience. In recognition of the growing needs of individuals with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia, WesleyLife has focused on improving the experience for individuals living in its dedicated memory support households.

“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 WesleyLife that raises the bar on care, and embraces the concept of providing people with dementia the dignity and supportive environment they deserve.”

“Heritage House is proud to be the first organization in Iowa to achieve this distinguished status. It affirms the quality of services we provide to individuals with dementia. It also provided a valuable opportunity for Heritage House to benefit from the expertise provided by AFA attained through the rigorous assessment process,” said Bentsen.

Excellence in Care is the first national program involving comprehensive standards, onsite evaluation and consultation to promote continual performance improvement for dementia care settings, such as assisted living and skilled nursing facilities, adult day centers and adult day healthcare programs, and continuum of care residential communities.

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. More than 70,000 Iowans have some form of dementia. Studies indicate that nationally, as many as 70 percent of residents in skilled nursing facilities show some level of cognitive impairment.

For additional information, contact: Karen Bentsen, executive director, Heritage House, Atlantic, Iowa, 712-243-9463.


About WesleyLife—a nonprofit organization

Guided by Christian compassion, WesleyLife is enhancing the independence, health and well-being of older adults. Our vision is to transform the aging experience so people live longer, healthier lives. We offer health and wellness services in 15 Iowa counties through our Communities for Healthy Living, three adult day services programs and an array of services delivered to people wherever they call home.  For more information about WesleyLife, please visit

About the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America

The Alzheimer's Foundation of America is a national nonprofit organization headquartered in New York and made up of hundreds of member organizations that provide hands-on programs to meet the educational, emotional, practical and social needs of families affected by Alzheimer's disease and related illnesses. For more information, visit or call 866-AFA-8484.

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