Regular visitors to ArkansasCultureChange.com blog may have noticed that there was no post in June. That is because we “posted-in-person” at AIPP’s first Culture Change Symposium, June 18 at the Heifer International Village in Little Rock.
Karen Stobbe, of “In the Moment” and co-developer of the CMS hand-in-hand training videos, was the symposium headliner. Stobbe was assisted with her educational headliner by her husband “Mondy.” Watch them on YouTube.
The headliner, usually the final act in a music, theatre or comedy performance, is preceded by the opening act. The symposium’s opening act featured Lisa Thomas, state training coordinator for the Arkansas Office of Long Term Care, and staff from the Oak Haven Community Care Center in Center Point, Louisiana. Their presentations focused on building a new long-term care. Both Thomas and our guests from Oak Haven are very familiar with new ideas in culture change. For a glimpse of Oak Haven’s commitment to change , you can download files from the Louisiana symposium. http://www.cvent.com/events/let-s-get-cookin-with-person-centered-care/custom-20-f0e148689a9641dc9f30998ac6897d80.aspx
The “Dog Days of Culture Change” video premiered at the symposium. There was also a showcase gallery of Arkansas nursing homes that are building a new culture of long-term care. Visit our website for more information from the symposium and gallery. (Click on Arkansas Innovative Performance Program on the far left.)
As we build a new long-term care culture, it is important to remember why we are doing it. Culture change efforts should start with the needs and life circumstances of residents. This is why we say “person-centered” or “resident-directed care.” The core principles of culture change include knowing, understanding and listening to residents, and honoring their experiences. As we learned at the symposium, our actions must be guided by our residents’ perspectives.
Many of you may remember Dr. Richard Taylor’s 2008 visit to Arkansas. Taylor, who has Alzheimer’s disease, shared his unique wisdom from the perspective of a dementia patient:
“We are told we must now resign ourselves to allowing others to take care of us …
We are told by many professionals, and even our own loved ones, sign away all our rights …
We are expected to trust professionals who have not experienced our cognitive environment, and who were trained by others who have not experienced our cognitive environment …
They believe they know not only what is best, but that they know all there is to know about how best to take care of us …”
Even if your home does not want to change its environment or its operational model, you can make simple and individualized person-centered changes. For example: when a research group asked residents to investigate their nursing home, here’s what they noticed that was not resident-oriented:
• Residents said bulletin boards were placed too high on the wall to be seen clearly by residents in wheelchairs.
• The print size of posted materials was too small to be read by those with visual impairment.
• Positive news and artifacts representing residents’ accomplishments were rarely shared on bulletin boards.
• Read about more ideas at web site below.
It does not take a lot of policy and procedure changes or money to correct these things. Change is about focusing on the new, not fighting the old.