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Culture Change

Stories from the Field

More than 16 years ago, a small group of prominent professionals from across the field of long-term care came together to advocate for a radical change in the culture of aging. They wanted to assure that when our grandparents, parents—and ultimately ourselves—go to receive care in a nursing home or other community-based setting, it is to thrive, not to decline. This movement, away from institutional provider-driven models to more humane consumer-driven care that embraces flexibility and self-determination, has come to be known as culture change. 

In the culture change journey, person-directed care most resembles the kind of care and caring most consumers desire. In practice, culture change centers on person-directed care. For example, residents living in nursing homes that provide resident-directed care can go to bed and wake up when they want; can eat what they want when they want; and can create their own living spaces in their rooms as well as have a say about the environment of common areas. It is this choice that is doing away with institutionalization in long-term care environments and re-creating home (visit Continuum of Person-directed Culture to further examine the difference between institutional and person-directed environments).

In short, culture change is innovation. It enhances quality of care and life for consumers and creates opportunities for long-term care organizations to improve operational benchmarks in areas such as efficiency and staffing. At this tipping point in the adoption of person-directed care, Pioneer Network is communicating, collaborating and networking with stakeholders at all levels of the long-term care community including policy, consumers, researchers, educators, providers, and partner organizations (see graphic below).

As part of this effort, we are committed to "Sharing Stories from the Field." Visit Stories of State Support, State Coalitions, and Case Studies to explore some of these stories. In the coming months, we will incorporate additional stakeholders including stories of consumer advocacy, stories of ongoing research and provider accounts from the full spectrum of long-term care environments.

By sharing our knowledge, we accelerate adoption, diffusion and dissemination of person-directed concepts and help to create a happier, safer and thriving future for long-term care in the 21st century. Submit your "Stories from the Field" to contribute to this effort.  Read Stories from the Field below.


A Story of Households - Williamsburg, VA

A Story of Choice - Palm Garden of Ocala, Florida

A Story of Food Service - Riverview Healthcare Community, Rhode Island

EldeRevolution - Elder Outreach, Louisiana

Death and Dying - Garden Spot Village in New Holland, PA

Optima Award Finalist implements culture change to improve life for residents and staff - Island Nursing  and Rehabilitation Center in Holtsville, New York

Resident and Staff involvement in the Hiring Process - Meridian Village Senior Living Community

Through the Looking Glass Contest - Illinois Pioneer Coalition

A Story of a Camping Trip - La Hacienda in Green Valley, Arizona

An Assisted Living Story - Custer Care in Broken Bow Nebraska