Editorial: Old-fashioned new-style care
It’s a real pleasure to salute this week the dedicated work of Gloucester County native Carter Catlett Williams, who has worked tirelessly for "culture change" in nursing homes through the Pioneer Network (http://www.pioneernetwork.net).
What is culture change? The network describes the concept as "the national movement for the transformation of older adult services, based on person-directed values and practices where the voices of elders and those working with them are considered and respected. Core person-directed values are choice, dignity, respect, self-determination and purposeful living."
The trend has caught on nationally and is being seen locally, where convalescent centers—the current usual term for nursing homes—have steadily created brighter and more inclusive atmospheres for their residents. These places are a far cry from their counterparts of 50 years ago.
Sanders Retirement Community is taking the concept to the next level in its proposal for two buildings in a home-style format to replace its aging residence at Gloucester Court House. Residents should feel more at home, being allowed to participate as able in the activities of running the house, perhaps in helping to cook meals, instead of just sitting and waiting for that meal.
In unveiling the scheme on April 7 to the Gloucester County Planning Commission, Jim Janicki, senior director of marketing for parent company Riverside Health System’s Lifelong Health Division, directly credited Carter Williams and the Pioneer Network.
It now seems that returning to an old-fashioned home-style setting is the newest thing in long-term nursing care. We concur and congratulate Carter Williams on bringing this concept so elegantly conceived to her hometown.