Last month a friend at McKnight’s Long Term Care News contacted me looking to recruit someone to write a guest column about culture change, yet another example of how the philosophy and principles of culture change are fast becoming mainstream in the long term care industry.
Chris Perna, CEO of The Eden Alternative, took up the challenge and submitted a great column on the argument for well-being in culture change that was published last week at McKnight’s. Here’s an excerpt:
Take loneliness. You can’t prescribe a drug for loneliness or seek Medicare reimbursements for its treatment. But the Archives of Internal Medicine recently found that elders suffering from loneliness were at significant risk for declining health. Researchers following a group of 1,600 elders over a six-year period found:
• Forty-three percent of those interviewed reported being lonely.
• Nearly one-quarter of the subjects who reported being lonely died over the six-year study, compared to 14% of non-lonely participants – a 45% increase in mortality.
• Lonely participants had a 59% greater risk of suffering a decline in function.
Loneliness, along with helplessness and boredom, are singled out in the Eden Alternative philosophy as the “three plagues” most detrimental to the health and well-being of elders in long-term care. But measuring well-being is not a priority of the care industry.
To address this deficit, The Eden Alternative launched a grant-funded effort that brought together a task force of culture change experts, including Eden Alternative Co-founder, Bill Thomas, M.D., and identified seven primary Domains of Well-Being™: identity, growth, autonomy, security, connectedness, meaning, and joy.
Continue reading “The argument for well-being through culture change” at Mcknights.com.
ChangingAging.org is also always open to guest-post submissions on culture change and any other changing aging topic.