Periodically we post about the changes/improvements to the Apostles Center for Care. Six months ago we highlighted the improved life enrichment program and ongoing culture changes. Here is the latest update.
Eight years ago we began a journey to transform our nursing home from cold and institutional to a more home-like, person centered environment. Those first steps were challenging but they got the ball rolling. We eliminated the frequent rotating of staff assignments. We eliminated institutional meal service where most of the meals were served on trays that came out of the kitchen. We eliminated the large fort-like nurses station that separated the staff from the residents. We began working in smaller teams of staff to care for our elders.
Then in 2010, we began the physical transformation of the Apostles Center. Moving every wall in the central section, we created two distinct houses, Fickes House and Radcliffe House, each with its own living room dining room, kitchen, spa and sun room. We created a parlor for small gatherings and care conferences and actual offices for staff to work in (something that was in short supply for the first 24 years). In the resident rooms, we added a privacy wall, flat screen TVs for each resident, improved lighting and a full bathroom including a shower and heat! The new Apostles Center featured a kitchen at its very center, making made to order meals for residents at every meal a priority.
The physical changes were breathtaking and created a much nicer environment in which to live and work. We did not stop there. We brought in the premier providers of memory support training in the country and trained all of our staff in true person centered training. The training focused on residents with Alzheimer's and other forms of dementia; but the principles applied to everyone. We had accomplished a lot over a period of about six years.
This past year we have focused even more attention on the Apostles Center to improve our care even more. We installed magnetic locks on all of the doors to provide a more secure environment, minimizing the chances of a resident wandering away as well as keeping out intruders who don't belong. We implemented a new personal laundry service that allows each resident to have their personal laundry individually washed and folded rather than the old method of sending it to the institutional laundry with the bed linens, towels and washcloths.
We are transforming Fickes House into a true memory support household. Significantly enhanced Life Enrichment staffing is the core of this transformation; but every staff member will also receive additional training through the SELF program, a series of educational programs that consist of both self learning modules and group activities designed to great increase each caregiver's understanding and ability to meet the needs of residents with memory support needs. We are developing the Fickes House outdoor patio to be a safe and secure outdoor area.
We have implemented a new electronic health record to vastly improve our record keeping, data tracking and response to resident needs. PointClickCare is the most widely used nursing home electronic health record in the country. Eventually all aspects of care will be tracked electronically and the need for massive paper charts will decrease dramatically.
We will not stop there. Over the next year, we will continue to look for better ways to create a more home-like and enjoyable environment for our residents to live and our staff to work. Together we will make the Apostles Center for Care at Homestead Village a truly home-like experience.