Sunday, December 30, 2007

Culture Change: Transformation of Four Nursing Homes (Video: 5:16 mins.)

The following includes an excerpt from my book, "Becoming Dead Right: A Hospice Volunteer in Urban Nursing Homes.” Baby Boomer Haven refers to an imaginary nursing home based on best practices of some, but not nearly enough nursing homes that exist today.

“Welcome to Baby Boomer Haven! It’s a treasure to have you. My name is Ruth, and I’ll be your tour guide today. The first thing you need to know about our nursing home is that it’s real for some, but imaginary for too many others. Everything we enjoy here already exists in nursing homes scattered throughout America, but not in nearly enough. We’re having this tour today, so you can become familiar with possibilities that all nursing home residents should be experiencing, no matter where they are located.

When baby boomers seeking institutional healthcare show up in the millions, nursing homes like ours should be ready to receive them with welcoming lights shining in every window. Now, more than ever, nursing homes should be focused on ongoing state-of-the-art improvements. The comfortable life we live is as close as society’s handshake with commitment to quality healthcare, particularly for the ill and elderly.

We love many things about living here, but what we enjoy most is that we’re treated with dignity as adults. Our feelings and opinions matter. You’ll understand this better during the tour when you see our physical environment, the freedom we have in deciding how we live within our limitations, and the nurturing manner in which all employees interact with us.”

There are several models of culture change for nursing homes. They all respect and incorporate input from residents and staff members in such areas as decision-making and scheduling. This video from the Pioneer Network captures the transformation of four nursing homes in Anywhere, USA.

Frances Shani Parker, Author
"Becoming Dead Right: A Hospice Volunteer in Urban Nursing Homes”
Hospice and Nursing Homes Blog

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