Making Nursing Homes Desirable Places to Live and Work

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<p>Picture a nursing home where you can stay up late to watch the end of a movie, get yourself a midnight snack, and then be helped to bed by an aide who knows all your quirks. Such an evening is possible in a home that is practicing "culture change," or resident-centered care. The culture change movement is working to transform nursing homes from places that put institutional imperatives ahead of the needs, rights, and interests of the residents to places where residents come first.<br><br>In a <a href="/aboutus/aboutus_show.htm?doc_id=686652">new column</a>, Commonwealth Fund assistant vice president Mary Jane Koren, M.D., M.P.H., who leads the Quality of Care for Frail Elders program, discusses the 2007 Commonwealth Fund National Survey of Nursing Homes findings and how they can help nursing homes become more resident-centered by undertaking initiatives such as "consistent assignment," where one nursing aide is assigned to a resident, so that the two can really get to know one another.<br><br>Dr. Koren also highlights the work of the Advancing Excellence in America's Nursing Homes Campaign, which more 6,800 nursing homes, or 43 percent of all homes in the country, have joined to set goals and track performance. She encourages more nursing home administrators, as well as consumers, advocates, and frontline staff to join the campaign. "Together, we can improve the lives of the millions of people who call nursing homes 'home,'" Koren says.</p>