Person-Centered Care Contest: We Have a Winner, or Two!

On Monday, I blogged about a contest to transform “a day in the life of the resident.”  I like this contest because it asks staff members for their often-overlooked expertise, and is designed to improve life for the residents, centering the nursing home day around their needs rather than vice versa.  I got an update on Tuesday from Dave Sedgwick, initiator of the Ensign Group’s $150K e-prize contest.  He reports not one, but two winners, with $100K going to Brookfield Healthcare in Downey, California, and a $50K Special Honors prize to Julia Temple in Englewood, Colorado.

Brookfield’s winning entry focuses on the theme of being a “Brookfield Zero,” meaning zero deficiencies on surveys, and has customer service at its core.  According to their application, they used to be a “traditional” nursing home — “bland, generic, colorless, and flavorless,” until they made the decision to “show the world that skilled nursing facilities are no longer a place to die, but a place to live, learn, and grow.”  Some of the highlights:  They harnessed the passion and enthusiasm of their staff to create programming that engages the residents, such as tai chi and computer classes.  Showers are provided by two dedicated “shower girls” who offer them at the frequency requested by the residents.  Nurses answer the call bells as soon as they’re rung, and all staff members greet resident requests pleasantly.  To compensate for a small parking lot, valet parking is provided.  Brookfield’s application is in the form of a recipe book to encourage replication of their process.

Special Honors were given to Julia Temple, based on their “jaw-dropping” transformation of a facility for residents with dementia.  Dave reports that when he entered the facility on the day Ensign acquired it, he was, for the first time in his career, afraid of being in a facility.  At that time, it was common to observe physical restraints of agitated residents in order to administer sedating medication.  Now, he describes the environment as “peaceful, loving, calm, and productive .”  Using the Allen’s Cognitive Levels model to assess the abilities of residents, Julia Temple groups residents into neighborhoods based on their abilities, and offers programs to enhance their experience at each level.  They also emphasized increasing the involvement and satisfaction of staff members.   For example, they created an employee council to improve communication between management and caregiver, and a wellness program that, among other offerings, provides free massages to staff members on their lunch breaks.

While some of the innovations in the contest facilities required site renovations, more of the changes leading to success were focused on rethinking systems and improving customer service — something that can be accomplished by every facility, everywhere.

5 thoughts on “Person-Centered Care Contest: We Have a Winner, or Two!”

  1. When two successive surveys of residentsof an Assisted Living facility scored almost last on “Opportunities to Grow as a Person”, the chair of the Resident Council surveyed residents and asked opinions of six college-level classes, three ranked high: First, Psychology of Human Behavior, second, Peoples and Cultures of the World, and third, History of the United States. The Psychology of Human Behavior was purchased and twenty residents(of total of 100 residents) attended the first thirty-minute lecture. Twelve to fifteen residentsattended the balance of 30 weekly lectures in the course.
    A second resident-choice course, “Great Tours: Greece and Turkey”drew twenty residents on the first weekly session and fifteen on the second. With twenty-four lectures in the course, it will run for nearly six months.
    These courses have a college professor as lecturer on DVD and are available from The Teaching Company.

    • In my experience, people enjoy opportunities where they can learn. I am lucky to have a resident who is an ex-college professor, who volunteers her time. She teaches American history and bible studies once a month in a centralized recreation room, as well as weekly unit programs. While she is active in a variety of the facilities programs, she fills her private time researching her topics. This, of course, benefits our teacher as well as the other residents. In our recreation room we generally draw a crowd of about 30, our unit programs, about 10. Our resident puts on an awesome program!

  2. Bob and Anonymous, those are both great examples of programming that emphasizes the opportunity within the nursing home for the residents to continue to learn, grow, and lead.

  3. This was an amazing article because elderly need a purpose
    To get out of bed everyday and participating
    In a learning process of interest is positively the answer
    Because while we are in the work force there is
    Not enough time to dedicate to our special interests
    After retirement is the best designated time to visit
    Every interest we wish we’d had time to do.

    • J Louise, I’ve sometimes suggested to residents who were artistically inclined that a nursing home stay has some similarities to an artists colony — basic needs are being cared for so that the individual can focus on other things including the pursuit of passions such as writing, artwork, music, learning another language, etc.


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