Our culture change journey began in December 2012. It has been a journey of ups and downs. It has been a learning experience for all of our staff and residents. PEAK 2.0 was introduced to us by our administrator. He asked for volunteers from our leadership team to facilitate our journey. The original PEAK team was formed. We were excited and ready to make it happen. Each facilitator formed teams to write our action plans for the four core areas we chose. As time went on, we realized that our action plans needed modified at times. The Core areas we chose to work on were:
Domain 1: Resident Choice – Food, bathing and daily schedules
Domain 2: Staff Empowerment – Decision-making in resident care
We held weekly culture change team meetings that were open to anyone who would attend. The facilitators worked on the action plans and discussed progress and challenges. We had the opportunity to send staff to Grow with Evergreen resources for Transforming Innovations (GERTI) training and visit Pleasant View of Inman to learn more about culture change. We hosted learning circles and posted updates to our Culture Change message board. We have utilized some of the resources available from the Pioneer Network, Action Pact, Eden Alternative, and GERTI.
Since making changes, our residents are happier, more involved with making decisions about the activities they do, and decide what food they want. They decide how they live their life! We have more spontaneous activities and some of the “direct care staff” are taking initiative to fulfill resident requests.
Some weeks it seemed that we had gone backward. It often felt like a challenge to get people to support the changes we wanted to make. At times we met resistance and reluctance to change.
Some of the resistance we met was with the people who we care for; not wanting to change because they were accustomed to the “institutional” way of doing things.
It is sometimes difficult for people to change their perception and look at new ideas. Some ideas have a financial impact and require long-term planning and budgeting.
On February 13, 2014, staff from PEAK 2.0 visited Wheat State Manor for evaluation. The evaluation was very helpful to see that we have made progress. They also helped our team look at the goals we had not yet reached. They were wonderful to visit with and they were very encouraging.
We would encourage others planning to enroll in PEAK to stay focused on their goals and not get bogged down in the daily process. Communication is key for keeping your team on board. Stay positive and be patient. If one way doesn’t work, stop and try another route. Culture change is a journey. Embrace it!