What is Culture Change?
Culture Change is a national movement that is transforming long-term care from an institutionalized care model to a person-centered care model, bringing fundamental changes in philosophy and attitudes that create a more meaningful quality of life for residents, staff and family members.
In Culture Change, a person’s quality of care and quality of life are inseparable and equally important.
Why does it matter?
Culture Change has a positive impact on residents, staff and loved ones. Residents live life with dignity, choice and self-determination. The philosophy produces better health outcomes for residents and higher job satisfaction and retention for caregivers. Families are more satisfied with the quality of life and care of their loved ones.
Doesn’t Culture Change cost a lot of money?
A common misconception is that person-centered care means major renovations and adding more staff. While these things might be nice, they are not necessary. There are many low-to-no-cost changes that can have a significant impact on the organization without a large investment. A community becomes resident-centered, not through a fancy building or extravagant programs, but through the attitudes and engagement of its people.
My organization is unique, so how can person-centered care work here?
Every organization is unique and no two are exactly alike! What makes an organization unique need not be a barrier to Culture Change, and, in fact, can be a springboard for innovation!
There is no cookie cutter approach to person-centered care. Each community must customize its implementation efforts to meet the specific needs and desires of its own residents, staff, and other stakeholders. Sites can, and should, learn from each other by sharing best practices and lessons learned. Ultimately, however, the uniqueness of each organization must be respected, and changes implemented must be reflective of the individual community rather than following a specific process that worked elsewhere.
How should we embark on this journey for our residents?
Culture Change is not something done for residents, but rather with them.
The difference is considerable and recognizing the distinction is essential for positioning an organization for success in its transformation efforts. After learning about resident-centered care, many communities want to “do it” and they want to “do it” fast! With the best of intentions, leadership implements a flurry of significant changes that are often not well received by residents or staff. Person-centered communities have found that a slow but steady, intentional approach to change works best for sustainability and engagement.
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Adapted from personcenteredcare.org and the MA Culture Change Coalition.