Logo Header


Culture Change Througout Aging Services



Oktoberfest Helps Assisted Living Community Provide 'HOME, Not Institution'

(Source:  By Paige Dickerson, Peninsula Daily News)

Lucile Doda, left, and B.J. Baker play a round of bingo in the activity room at St. Andrew's Place in Port Angeles. The nonprofit assisted living community is conducting a fundraiser Saturday. Photo by Paige Dickerson/Peninsula Daily News

St. Andrew's Place wants to toast the elders at the third annual Oktoberfest celebration Saturday.  The event has developed into the Port Angeles nonprofit assisted living community's biggest fundraiser of the year, said Michele Jensen, administrator of the organization..."Raising funds is a necessity for us," said Beverly Maine, St. Andrew's CEO…  The idea was the result of several years of brainstorming for a fundraiser unlike any other held on the North Olympic Peninsula, Maine said.  Fundraising has become a way of life for the nonprofit at 520 E Park Ave, which always works with clients, regardless of their financial status, Jensen said.

More than 60 percent of its present clients are low-income.  "We are the only nonprofit taking Medicaid right now," Jensen said.  "And if people run out of money we don't ask them to leave or anything."  In some cases, Medicaid reimburses between $10 and $30 per day, Maine said.  "We do fundraising all the time," Jensen said…

"The most important thing to us is to emphasize that this is their home," Maine said.  "It isn't an institution. It has a heart, and it is a home."  LINK HERE


A Story of Households in Springhouse Assisted Living Alzheimer’s Community

(Source:  Kevin McElroy via Pioneer Network)

At Patriots Colony in Williamsburg, VA, we are in the middle of our journey to move towards a Household Model in our Springhouse Assisted Living Alzheimer's Community. We started out taking small steps, such as eliminating scrubs and team members wearing home-like clothing, and having all team members and residents involved in planning and implementing activities. We recently have begun serving breakfast "home style" where breakfast is cooked to order when our residents wake for the day...when THEY want to wake for the day! We are also training our team to become certified CMT's and all staff will move towards being a PAL. What I find most exciting about this is how excited the staff has been. They tend to be the ones who are itching to do more and move forward with culture change! It has been very rewarding, and most importantly, our residents and family members love it! Our next project will be to move culture change more into our skilled nursing community. It really is such an exciting journey! - MOREKevin McElroy, Patriots Colony at Williamsburg, VA  LINK


Person-Centered Care in Assisted Living: An Informational Guide

(Source: Center for Excellence in Assisted Living)
(NOTE: This paper is intended as a “what is” person-centered care informational guide, rather than a “how-to implement” person-centered care guide. Please use it as an opportunity to discuss and advance dialogue about person-centered care. This paper was commissioned by the CEAL Board; however, the views and opinions expressed are not necessarily reflective of every member organization represented on the CEAL Board.)

To date, published information about person-centered care in assisted living has been sparse. This paper expands on a chapter entitled “Person-Centered Care in Assisted Living” in the National Association of Boards of Examiners of Long Term Care Administrators’ (NAB) Residential Care/Assisted Living Administrators Exam Study Guide prepared by this paper’s writer (Karen Love) and Mauro Hernandez1. This paper presents a comprehensive framework about what is needed to support person-centered care (PCC) outcomes based on evidence-based practices obtained through a broad review of peer-reviewed and grey literature2. While there has been sparse assisted living-specific research conducted about any elements of PCC, studies conducted in other sectors such as nursing homes and the developmental disability population, as relevant, are cited. In addition, the paper draws on over 40 in-person and telephone interviews and discussions with diverse PCC experts across the aging services network including leaders in the culture change movement, long-term care practitioners and consumers.

While the paper’s focus is to detail PCC in assisted living, it is important for the reader to understand that the national PCC movement (known by many terms, see page 4) is not new and encompasses the wide spectrum of people who are recipients of care and services (e.g., individuals of all ages who have physical, developmental, intellectual, behavioral, cognitive and/or mental health disabilities) and the providers that supply the care and services (e.g., hospitals, rehabilitation centers, primary care providers, nursing homes, group homes, subacute centers, assisted living, adult day care, home care). The general tenets and practices of PCC — honoring the person — are the same across settings and populations wherever he or she lives.

The goal of this paper is two-fold. First, the paper proposes a conceptual framework that can be tested and further refined through future research. Although the literature and discussions with a range of stakeholders indicate some degree of consensus around the key structural elements of PCC described within, much work remains to be done to understand the interrelationships and interconnectedness among these elements and to more fully explore the most successful means of operationalizing them. Second, it is hoped that this paper will inform current discussions of PCC in assisted living settings. While there are some assisted living providers that currently employ one or more of the elements needed to support PCC outcomes, many providers have not evolved beyond the core values of a home environment and improved service delivery (Utz, 2003). This paper is intended to help assisted living communities more fully understand the structural framework that underpins PCC outcomes.  MORE



The National Center for Assisted Living (NCAL) released a new report entitled “2010 Assisted Living State Regulatory Review,” (pdf) which provides a state-by-state summary of assisted living regulations in 2009 for 21 categories.  “Staff Education/Training,” “Staff Training for Alzheimer’s Care,” and “Continuing Education Requirements” for assisted living facilities are among the regulatory categories included in the March 2010 report. The NCAL report notes that “at last eight states increased or changed required staff training.”


“As assisted living becomes a part of the full array of long-term care supports and services in more states, it is good to see growing sophistication and effectiveness of state training programs for direct-care staff,” said PHI Midwest Director Hollis TurnhamStaff Education/Training regulations vary widely state-by-state. In California, for example, staff who assist residents with personal activities of daily living must receive at least 10 hours of training within the first four weeks of employment and at least four hours annually thereafter, according to the report. In Alaska the only requirement listed is the age of the care provider.

The report explains that there are federal laws that impact assisted living but oversight of assisted living occurs primarily at the state level…  At least 22 states reported making statutory, regulatory, or policy changes in 2009 impacting assisted living/residential care communities or assisted living Medicaid coverage.


Yoga Can Improve Sleep among Assisted Living Residents


Assisted living residents would sleep at lot better at night if their communities offered regular yoga classes, say researchers at Fooyin University in Taiwan. During a six-month study, the researchers found that yoga practice helped reduce the sleeping problems that residents of assisted living communities commonly experience.


Those sleeping problems were the topic of another study of assisted living residents by researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles and VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System. The study, described in a recent issue of The Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, found that 65 percent of 121 assisted living residents suffered significant sleep disturbance as measured on the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index. More than half of the study participants, who had been in assisted living for less than two years, reported waking up in the middle of the night or early morning (60.3%) and being unable to fall asleep within 30 minutes (59.5%).


On average, they slept about six hours per night and for about one and a half hours during the day. Researchers found that residents’ poor sleeping habits were associated with lower health-related quality of life, a need for more help with activities of daily living and more symptoms of depression. Yoga classes helped participants in the Taiwan study find considerable relief from these sleep disturbance and their side effects, according to a paper published in the Journal of Nursing Research. The older people attended 70- minute yoga classes three times a week for 24 weeks. After six months, they experienced significantly improved sleep and reduced depression, sleep disturbances and daytime dysfunction.  More



Poor Sleep Is Common Among Elderly People Who Live In Assisted Living Facilities, A New Study Found

(Source:  HealthDay News)

This lack of sleep is associated with declining quality of life and increased depression. Many older adults move into an assisted living facility (ALF) when they're no longer able to live independently but do not require the level of care provided in a nursing home. ALFs typically provide meals, housekeeping and personal care assistance.

In this study, U.S. researchers examined the sleep habits of 121 residents of ALFs in the Los Angeles area and found they slept an average of six hours per night and 1.5 hours during the day. About 65 percent suffered significant sleeping problems, including waking up in the middle of the night or early morning (60.3 percent) and trouble falling asleep within 30 minutes (59.5 percent).

Poor sleep was associated with lower health-related quality of life, the need for more help with basic daily tasks (such as dressing, grooming and bathing), and symptoms of depression.  MORE


When Yes Really Means No: Assisted Living

(Source: www.ArticleAlley.com)

"I don't know what you are talking about," replied the Executive Director of a very posh Assisted Living Community I had just moved my clients into. I had just listed the problems I saw with the care my clients were getting. "We just had our town hall meeting and all the residents said everything was great." I am hearing this clueless response more and more as the number of Greatest Generation seniors continues to fill Assisted Living Communities. Everything is not great, but they will tell you it is, and this is why.  MORE



(Source: ChangingAging.org by Dr. Bill Thomas)

The popular misconception is that the only “problems” within aging services are related to nursing homes. This falsehood reminds me of the ancient royal concept of the “whipping boy.” It is as all of the sins and defects of the system can be loaded onto nursing home so that all other parts of the system can be exonerated.  Here is a rare commercial television of report on problems with quality in Assisted Living facilities.  More