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Right now, memory care is just a marketing term in Arizona. Bill would set staff training hours

Coverage of aging is supported in part by AARP Arizona

A bill that would establish minimum training standards for staff who work at assisted living facilities that advertise “memory care services” is now in the Arizona Senate. 

In Arizona, memory care is a marketing term, meaning a facility can advertise that service but there are no specific rules or regulations.

Now, a bill that would establish minimum training standards is in the state Senate. 

"And what it will do is basically require specific dementia training for people working in those facilities that offer memory care," said Tory Roberg with the Alzheimer's Association in Phoenix.

The latest amendment specifies the number of training hours that would be required. 

"And that would be eight hours of training for all caregivers, eight hours of training for the facility managers, and then an additional four hours of training for them, so that would be 12 hours of training," Roberg said. 

According to the Alzheimer’s Association, more than 1,900 assisted living facilities are operating under their own interpretation of "memory care services."

Roberg added that "they're licensed for what's called directed care, which means any of them could offer a memory care if they wanted to. And we just see inconsistencies throughout the state." 

Kathy Ritchie has 20 years of experience reporting and writing stories for national and local media outlets — nearly a decade of it has been spent in public media.