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Culture Change in Today’s Nursing Homes

In 1987, the federal government passed a law called the Nursing Home Reform Act. This act established standards of care in nursing homes throughout the United States. These standards focused specifically on quality of life issues and the rights of nursing home residents. Following the passage of this act, there has been a movement in long term care called “culture change.” Culture change focuses on resident-centered care, and attempts to create a warmer, homier environment in nursing homes. Additionally, culture change encourages residents to become more involved in their care, from staff assignments to choice of activities.

The administration and staff at Greenwood Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, a 36-bed skilled nursing home in Wakefield, MA, had known well before the culture change movement that the initiatives in the Nursing Home Reform Act just made sense. The facility is a suburban residence located in the Greenwood section of Wakefield.

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What sets Greenwood apart from most other nursing homes is its comfortable setting. It was originally founded in a private residence, and maintains the charm of a home, as opposed to a hospital-like setting, to this day. Most nursing homes are built modeled after hospitals with long corridors and nurses stations scattered across every floor. Many elders don’t want the feeling of living in a hospital or hotel; they want to feel like they’re at home. In addition to its more personal, home-like feel, Greenwood features beautiful outdoor landscaping, wall hangings, flower gardens, and multiple porches with plush seating so residents can enjoy the beautiful weather outdoors peacefully. Family and friends are encouraged to visit loved ones and join in on summer cookouts and other events, such as outings to the movie theater, foliage trips, and Christmas light viewing. Greenwood also provides residents with fun daily activities such as light exercise, in-house film viewing, informative and enjoyable discussions on current events, and many other interactive games. Greenwood stresses resident independence and assists as needed. Their staff understands the value of letting residents feel they are in control of their daily routine. At the end of the day, they provide resident-centered care and will go above and beyond to ensure the comfort and security of their residents. Culture change is alive and well at Greenwood Nursing and Rehabilitation Center!

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