Consumers show interest in culture change practices

Heard at ACHCA Annual Convocation, May 14-18, Philadelphia

“Mentoring is not training. It is helping people to learn.”

Chip Bell, PhD, during his keynote address on the importance of having programs to mentor employees.

“Sexual expression is growing in prominence in nursing homes.” Eva S. Goldfarb, PhD, spoke of the need for LTC communities to have written policies on sex among residents.

“What the boomers want from long-term care is to have their needs met and then go play.” Judah Ronch, PhD, acting dean of the Erickson School, said baby boomers are different because they perceive themselves as different.

BRONX, N.Y.-The Pioneer Network has completed a research project exploring consumer knowledge of culture change in long-term care facilities.

The study-which consisted of a series of discussion groups attended by consumers-found that nearly four out of five consumers wanted to learn more about culture change: what it looks like and how providers pay for it.

“A major finding of this project was the need to educate consumers about options,” said project director Joanne Rader. “Those who had been exposed to the traditional model were unaware that things could be different. Those who had little contact with nursing homes were surprised that there could be such a lack of choice about basics such as when you decided to get up and go to bed,” Rader said.

As a result of the study, Caring for the Ages, the monthly publication of the American Medical Directors Association, has begun publishing a series of informational tear-outs on culture change. The first installment, “Person-Centered Care: What It Means to You and Your Family,” was published in the March 2010 issue.

“I am really excited about this project,” said Susan Misiorski, PHI National Director of Training and Organizational Development. “As consumers become more knowledgeable about what is possible to expect from the support systems available to them, they will seek out only those organizations that embrace the principles and practices of the culture change movement.”

During the course of the year-long study, the Pioneer Network brought consumers together to conduct small-group discussion meetings.

In all, approximately 500 consumers attended the meetings, which were held in private homes in Florida, Georgia, Massachusetts, and Oregon.

The Pioneer Network hopes to begin the second phase of the project later this year. The second phase will focus on educating consumers about culture change and how they can advocate for it.

The research project, entitled “Changing the Culture of Aging: Taking a First Step to Creating Knowledgeable Consumers,” was funded by the Picker Institute, a foundation that sponsors research pertaining to patient-centered care.


LTL Editor wins Gold writing award

CLEVELAND-Editor Maureen Hrehocik has won a Gold Award in the American Society of Healthcare Publication Editors (ASHPE) 2010 Annual Awards Competition. Hrehocik won first place for Best Signed Editorial, “The Gift of Purpose,” from the August 2009 issue.

“I'm extremely honored to have won first place in the ASHPE awards competition,” Hrehocik says. “The winning editorial meant a lot to me personally both in sentiment and content.”

The ASHPE recognizes editorial excellence and achievement in the field of healthcare publishing nationally. The annual awards competition provides an opportunity for editors to measure their efforts and publications against the very best the healthcare sector has to offer.

Nationally, the cost of home care has risen at a much slower pace than the cost of institutional long-term care, according to Genworth Financial's 2010 Cost of Care Survey.

The Service Employees International Union elected Mary Kay Henry as the union's 10th president–a position never before held by a woman.

Long-Term Living 2010 June;59(6):12

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