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Pioneer Network Announces "Design on a Dime Roadmaps"

An Innovative Project to Encourage Nursing Home Culture Change Through Low-Cost Environmental Options

Pioneer Network

(ROCHESTER, NY, JULY 7, 2009 --)  Pioneer Network, the nation's leading resource for the long-term care culture change movement, is pleased to announce an innovative new project to continue their more than a decade-long effort to support culture change. The Design on a Dime Roadmaps: Mapping Environmental Change Processes within the Culture Change Journey project will develop a series of informative descriptions, or roadmaps, of the range of low-cost environmental change ideas that represent different routes to person-centered care.  By clearly illustrating how change happens, what is going to make it happen, and cost options and alternatives at each step of the way, Design on a Dime Roadmaps will help nursing homes adopt transformative practices that are both practical and affordable.  The project is made possible with support from The Retirement Research Foundation which is headquartered in Chicago, Illinois. 

On April 3, 2008, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and Pioneer Network hosted an historic symposium on the impact of innovative environmental design on creating home and community for nursing home residents. Long-term care innovators, regulators, researchers, architects, advocates and public officials came together in an unprecedented discourse to address transforming the physical environments of nursing homes into comfortable, pleasurable places for elders to call home. One of those recommendations was to promote low-cost environmental modifications to create home until such time as a nursing home is ready to create a fully transformed nursing home environment. This need for low-cost, step-wise environmental changes and modifications is even greater in these difficult economic times. The Design on a Dime Roadmaps: Mapping Environmental Change Processes within the Culture Change Journey project will offer the double benefit of effectively operationalizing guidelines to help nursing homes become homes, and providing an inexpensive way to get started. 

"As it enters its second decade, the culture change movement is at a crossroads.  Although the true 'pioneers' are on board, widespread implementation of person-centered practice and the environmental change process has not occurred, " said Bonnie Kantor, Pioneer Network's Executive Director. "If the culture change movement is going to enter the mainstream and become the norm, we need to show nursing homes the different ways to create home within long-term care settings. The Design on a Dime Roadmaps: Mapping Environmental Change Processes within the Culture Change Journey project will provide exciting and easy-to-use materials for improving the physical environment of thousands of nursing homes and thereby positively affecting countless nursing home residents, their family members, and the nursing home caregivers," she concluded. 

Development activities will be led by Pioneer Network, Dr. Lois Cutler, and David Farrell, whose Design on a Dime concept is foundational to the project. The demonstration of the effectiveness of the project materials will be conducted in four Illinois nursing homes—two in the greater Chicago area and two in central Illinois (Lakeshore Healthcare & Rehabilitation, Chicago; The Holmstad, Batavia; St. Vincent's Home, Quincy; Sunny Acres Home, Petersburg). Illinois has one of the lowest levels of Medicaid reimbursement of all 50 states, creating a financing challenge for nursing homes across the state and making the availability of low-cost strategies both useful and desired for these facilities. The Illinois Pioneer Coalition will be actively involved in the demonstration.  Once the demonstration project is evaluated, Design on a Dime Roadmaps will be broadly distributed, including via Pioneer Network's website. 

ABOUT PIONEER NETWORK  Pioneer Network was formed in 1997 by a small group of prominent professionals in long-term care to advocate for person-directed care. This group called for a radical change in the culture of aging so that when our grandparents, parents — and ultimately ourselves — go to a nursing home or other community-based setting it is to thrive, not to decline. This movement, away from institutional provider-driven models to more humane consumer-driven models that embrace flexibility and self-determination, has come to be known as the long-term care culture change movement. Our partners and audience are primarily engaged in some aspect of long-term care including CEOs and administrators, consumers and family caregivers, doctors and nurses, direct care providers, government officials, regulators and policy makers, and others who care about, and care for, the aging. 

ABOUT ILLINOIS PIONEER COALITION  Illinois Pioneer Coalition was organized to provide long-term care settings with the education and tools needed to effect deep culture change, thereby transforming long-term care settings into real homes and improving the quality of life for individuals and staff in various settings throughout Illinois . The education provided shall be based on the philosophy, practices, and principles of person-centered and person-directed care designed to improve quality of life for elders and persons with disabilities in our society.

ABOUT THE RETIREMENT RESEARCH FOUNDATION The Retirement Research Foundation is devoted exclusively to improving quality of life for our nation's older population. RRF is especially committed to improving conditions for those who are vulnerable due to frailty associated with advanced age, those who are economically disadvantaged and at greatest risk of falling through the safety net, and those who experience disparities related to race and ethnicity.

Special thanks to The Retirement Research Foundation for their support.

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