What is culture change?

Culture is the predominate beliefs, values, and assumptions that characterize an organization.

Culture change is the wave of the future in the field of senior care and nursing homes. Traditional nursing homes are considered sterile, cold, and smelly; a place where not only do you give up your material possessions, but your autonomy, privacy, dignity, and respect. Traditional nursing homes focus on the treatment, the money, and the time.

Mission communities are on a quest to change the way we care for people in nursing homes. There are three levels of culture change:

  1. Physical change: First, we change the building to feel more like home. We remove anything institutional, or that you would not have in your own home. We take away the institutional feel by warming the walls, hanging art, putting in modern flooring and removing the nurses station. Dining rooms provide a social atmosphere and residents may bring furniture from home to create a space that is special to them. Lush gardens and beautiful patios create a place to gather outdoors.
  2.                                                                                                                                             Organizational Change: Next, the organization has to change the way we approach care for the residents and how we treat our staff, or ‘carepartners’. Decision making is placed into the hands of the residents or those closest to them. Why? Because they have become well-known with each resident. They understand their ‘rhythm’ of daily life. Residents keep the right to choose; when to go to bed, when to get up, what and when to eat, they even help create their own activity calendar to be meaningful to them. Residents, families, and carepartners are encouraged and invited to attend training, activities, and sit on our committees. Each committee is dedicated to creating a home for our residents that bring back autonomy, privacy, dignity and respect.
  3.                                                                                                                                                        Personal Change: Our carepartners attend regular training, designed to help them change the way they view the elderly and the way we care for each other. We train them in the art of culture change, ageism, interpersonal skills and memory care.
  4. By changing the nursing home to a care community, we pave the way for the future of care for the aging and disabled population.

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