Take It On For Mom
What Is Culture Change?



Rochester launched a revolution which has swept the nation.

In 1997, Lifespan hosted a meeting right here in Rochester of a small group of prominent long-term care professionals from across the nation who shared a strong desire to launch a movement to change the way that nursing homes work. This group called for a radical change in the culture of aging so that when our grandparents, parents — and ultimately ourselves — go to a nursing home or other community-based setting it is to thrive, not to decline.

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This movement, away from institutional hospital-like models to more humane home-like models that embrace flexibility and self-determination, has come to be known as the long-term care culture change movement. 

"Culture change" is the common name given to the national movement for the transformation of older adult services, based on person-directed values and practices where the voices of elders and those working with them are considered and respected. Core person-directed values are choice, dignity, respect, self-determination and purposeful living.

Culture change transformation supports the creation of both long and short-term living environments as well as community-based settings where both older adults and their caregivers are able to express choice and practice self-determination in meaningful ways at every level of daily life.

Culture change transformation may require changes in organization practices, physical environments, relationships at all levels and workforce models – leading to better outcomes for consumers and direct care workers without inflicting detrimental costs on providers.

Many nursing homes across the nation are moving towards person-directed care.  A real difference is starting to be seen.  Now it is time for consumers to join the New Revolution -- to bring the movement back to its roots in Rochester and Monroe County and advocate for change our loved ones; and one day, for ourselves.

The Values and Principles Include:

  • Know each person
  • Each person can and does make a difference
  • Relationship is the fundamental building block of a transformed culture
  • Respond to spirit, as well as mind and body
  • Risk taking is a normal part of life
  • Put person before task
  • All elders are entitled to self-determination wherever they live
  • Community is the antidote to institutionalization
  • Do unto others as you would have them do unto you
  • Promote the growth and development of all
  • Shape and use the potential of the environment in all its aspects: physical, organizational, psycho/social/spiritual
  • Practice self-examination, searching for new creativity and opportunities for doing better
  • Recognize that culture change and transformation are not destinations but a journey, always a work in progress

    (Source: Pioneer Network)

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