Artman Lutheran Home and Paul’s Run, two of Liberty Lutheran’s senior communities, are incorporating “Culture Change” and transforming the way aging services are delivered. Care is based on the personal preferences of each resident including scheduled bedtimes, meals and bathing. Consistent staffing, collaboration, communication and nurturing help cultivate the relationship between the staff and residents. Research has indicated that Culture Change adds significant benefits for the residents such as improved appetites, increased activity and a general sense of well-being. In addition, the staff report increased job satisfaction and fulfillment.

Ann Simes and George McGrory are learning first-hand about the positive impact of Culture Change at Artman. Ann says, “This new way of handling things is good to see and really important. People are living longer and want to have more choices.” George adds, “This is a new discussion for me. I like the way things are at Artman, but I also like knowing that my opinion is always welcomed too.”

Artman chef, Hattie Williams loves the residents and is eager to show her affection with delicious meals and contagious laughter. Hattie is a person who goes above and beyond – something that is encouraged at Artman and in the transformation of Culture Change. “Good food is always important, and when a resident orders a special dish I’m happy to oblige,” says Hattie. When a resident recently requested a breakfast item for her dinner meal, Hattie didn’t think twice. Flashing that beautiful smile of hers, Hattie says, “It was my pleasure to bring her just what she wanted.”

Shortly after Percy Magat started working at Paul’s Run, he became involved with one of the teams working on Culture Change. “This gives us the chance to give residents the opportunity to live as they want with more freedom,” says Percy. To this end, the staff sees each day as a new opportunity for residents to make choices. Anna Bukalo knows about choice. “I like to be in control of what I do each day.” For Anna, one of the challenges that she faced was her limited ability to walk any distance without assistance. Percy says, “Anna wanted to walk alone, with no restrictions. We worked out a system where she follows our safety measures and “signs-out” when she goes for a walk.” Anna says, “It’s a simple request, but I feel much better and in control.”

Susan Yannuzzi, Paul’s Run Admissions Representative, says that working on Culture Change with co-workers and residents “gives us the opportunity to improve the life of every resident here.” She continues, “Whether it’s a favorite treat, or routine they’ve missed since moving into our community, each person will have more choices about how they live each day.”

If you were moving into a retirement community, what are some of the freedoms that you would not want to give up?

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