Culture Change

Most of our current facilities were built in the 1960’s and 1970’s, and our physical plants just don’t support “real-living” in long term care. We sometimes refer to traditional homes as “double-barreled-corridors” in reference to the layout of long hallways with rooms on both sides. In a nutshell: convenient for staff.

And that’s the essence (convenience for us) of why culture change has been difficult for our facilities. We have spent 50 years making things as convenient as possible for our staff. Right now we are in a transition phase where we are building physical plants that cater more to the resident, but we are still creating policies, procedures, and programs with staff convenience in mind, whether we admit it or not.

There is probably nothing harder than changing staff attitudes about delivery of care. The Japanese have a culture of true respect for their elders - something that we have lost in America. Not to say that there aren’t health care workers in the US that operate under this premise; there are thousands. As a culture, though, we no longer value our seniors as we used to. Until we can change the culture (ie culture change) NOTHING will change permanently.

What an unfortunate thought that is.


Patti said...

It's a difficult concept. We see the stark corridors and shiny floors, and the typical bland colors of nursing homes...we see staff who are so caught up in their own work they cannot see that they are a guest in someone else's home...the mindset has to change, for sure.

I respected my grandparents and if we can just get staff to see our elders as human beings, parents, grandparents- they might embrace these newer models of care.

Anonymous said...

I am one of those staff that you so carelessly write off as uncaring. Nothing I detest more than an uppity admin that sits in their comfortable office all day, making triple my pay if not more, to cast moral judgments on the care I and my fellow co-workers provide. Come out and get your hands dirty, come out and get your back sore, someone may be willing to listen to you then, admin.