Culture Change and Nursing Homes

Culture change, also called person-centered care or resident-directed care, is a newer model of care for nursing home residents. Long-term care is usually applied in nursing home facilities under the medical model. The person-centered care model attempts to nurture and provide for the humanity of the resident as well as their medical needs. Culture change is always evolving to meet the needs of the residents admitted into a nursing home environment in the 21st century.

There are four basic goals of culture change. These are: restoring control over daily living to the residents and respecting the rights of residents to make their own decisions, involving the entire staff in the care process with emphasis on those who have the most contact with the resident, including families and friends in the process of building a comprehensive team approach to care, and providing a familiar and comforting environment for the resident with individualized care practices that focus on the needs of the resident rather than the needs of the facility.

There are some very important benefits to instituting culture change in a nursing home facility. The resident may not be as lonely, helpless or bored. He or she will have improved physical and mental health and a more optimistic attitude toward the future. It may reduce turnover among staff, eliminate agency temporary staffing and excessive overtime which in turn reduces workers’ compensation claims and other costly administrative expenses.

Some examples of culture change are care protocols and procedures built upon the preferences of the resident, team assignments that are more consistent, engaging the family in groups and activities with the resident and the development of a collaborative communication style that emphasizes human connections. The relationship between the members of a care team and a resident in a nursing home facility are at the heart of a successful and life-affirming treatment plan. Developing a system to support these relationships is the future of nursing home care. If your loved one is in a nursing home facility, it might be a good idea to speak with the administrator or manager of the nursing home to discuss whether culture change would be beneficial for both staff and residents.

If you suspect that your loved one has been or is being abused or neglected in their nursing home, call the compassionate and experienced attorneys at Finkelstein & Partners, LLP. They will provide strong and effective representation and will stay by your side until your case is settled or there is a verdict in court. Call 800-529-2676 or email