What Is Culture Change?

Defining Culture Change

Inspiring Innovation and Transformation

At the Pioneer Network you will hear us talk a lot about culture change. But, what is the definition of culture change and how do you know it when you see it?

What Is Culture Change?

“Culture change” is the common name given to 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 most closely with them are solicited, respected and honored. Core person-directed values are relationship, choice, dignity, respect, self-determination and purposeful living.

Culture change supports the creation of both long and short-term living environments as well as home and community-based settings where both older adults and their care partners are able to express choice and practice self-determination in meaningful ways at every level of daily life.

A key goal of culture change is for elders to feel “at home” wherever they live. This includes creating living spaces that allow for privacy, comfort and personalization. It also includes the development of meaningful relationships among people sharing living environments and between these individuals and care partners who provide assistance and support. A critical vehicle for facilitating relationships between people receiving care/supports and their care partners is the provision of support and nurturing for staff, most particularly those who provide the hands-on care and support in care settings or in the elder’s own home.

Culture change may require changes in fundamental organizational and individual beliefs and philosophies, in practices, in physical environments, in relationships at all levels and in workforce models. These kinds of changes lead to better outcomes for elders, their families, and direct care workers.

At this tipping point in the adoption of person-directed care, Pioneer Network is communicating, collaborating and networking with stakeholders across the long-term care community including policy makers, consumers, researchers, educators, providers, and partner organizations.

Read Case Studies in Person Directed Care about organizations on their culture change journey.

Click here for our Culture Change Resources.