As growing numbers of Americans age and need extended care, long-term care organizations have sought to better meet both the healthcare and social needs of their residents. Those who reach the point in life where nursing home care is necessary do not want to live in an environment that feels like a hospital instead of a home.
Over the past several years, alternatives to institutional environments such as the Green House Project, the Pioneer Network and the Eden Alternative have all aimed to encourage genuine homes for the disabled elderly. And, with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ recent call for a culture change in nursing homes, the focus on resident-centered care places a priority on residents’ rights.
CMS’ new rules will encourage long-term care organizations to improve the quality of residents’ lives by moving away from the institutional environment. For example, a resident’s preferences for a daily schedule should be respected. Also, institutional overhead paging systems, alarms and large nursing stations, and meals served on institutional trays, should be eliminated..