Greetings from Pioneer Network’s 2014 National Conference

Image of logo for Pioneer Network's 2014 National Conference
Image of Making Oregon Vital for Elders bannerI am having an inspiring day with 1,200 other culture change leaders at Pioneer Network’s 2014 National Conference in Kansas City. What a beautiful city. Are you here?
You might have already seen me carrying the banner for Making Oregon Vital for Elders (M.O.V.E.) If we haven’t talked in person yet, let’s be sure to find each other.

Steve Shields Gave an Eye-Opening Keynote this Morning

In Re-Discovering An Integrated Life of Well-Being: Lessons Learned / New Approaches, Steve Shields, President and CEO of Action Pact Holdings, LLC, and a founding Pioneer Network board member, challenged senior care leaders to really take a hard look at ourselves. He talked about what has been started in the culture change movement and how far we’ve come–to the point even the federal government has changed regulations to support resident-centered care–but, he pointed out, we have a long way to go. According to Shields, there are 16,000 nursing homes nationally, but only 5%  have embraced culture change during the last decade. That means, he said, 10 million older people passed away without the benefit of the work being done to transform elder care.

Ten million.

How many of those were people you and I know personally? How many were our mothers, fathers, grandmothers, or grandfathers?

I am not alright with that number. Are you?

Yes, change is hard. Yes, it is easier for us to wake and feed and bathe people on a schedule set by the staff. Yes, transforming senior communities from institutional environments to authentic, resident-directed homes requires new attitudes and training. But are we alright with the other option?

If you needed skilled care today, how would you feel about moving into your senior community? If your organization has not yet embraced resident-directed care, are you going to be alright with staff-directed care for yourself? I wouldn’t be.

One of the reasons I am working for culture change is because I may, literally, have to live with the consequences if we do not de-institutionalize senior care environments and the way we treat residents.

What about you? Has your community embraced culture change? If so why? If not, why not? Let’s talk about this in the comments section.

About Cindy Heilman

Cindy is the founder and owner of Kind Dining®, which she began in 2006. She’s traveled across the country and Canada working with and training senior living communities that want to create an exceptional dining experience for their residents and staff. In addition, she certifies select professionals in her Kind Dining® philosophy and provides tools, now in an eLearning format, that make learning stick and help people put insights into action. As a result of her work, clients often share their staff has a new sense of purpose, get along better and keep their focus and energy on what matters most. In fact, she wrote a book, Hospitality for Boomers on how to attract residents and keep good team members. In her free time, she enjoys walking Oregon trails and cheering on her favorite soccer teams, the Portland Thorns and Timbers.

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