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About Culture Change


Culture – The sum total of ways of living built up by a group of human beings and transmitted from one generation to another;  collective attitudes & behavior

Change – A transformation or modification;  alteration;  to lay aside, abandon, or leave for another;  switch



Culture Change is . . .

a transformation anchored in values and beliefs that return control to elders and those who work closest with them. Its ultimate vision is to create a culture of aging that is 'life-affirming, satisfying, humane, and meaningful.'

Culture change can transform a 'facility' into a 'home,' a 'resident' into a 'person,' and a 'schedule' into a 'choice.'

. . . The Pioneer Network

What is Culture Change?

Culture change started as a national grassroots movement to improve nursing homes in the 1980s.  With the formation of the Pioneer Network in 1997, the national non-profit organization dedicated to culture change, the movement has continued to grow and expand.  Now there are culture change coalitions throughout the United States, and the concepts are spreading internationally.     

All across the country, culture change has become “the” buzz word in aging services.  It is the common name given to the national movement for the transformation of older adult services, based on person-directed and person-centered values and practices, where the voices of elders and those working with them are honored and respected.

The culture change movement is dedicated to transforming the old institutional, hospital-like environments and models of care into organizations, communities, and environments that focus on “person-centered,” “resident-directed,” or “patient-directed” care ~ where the person comes first.  The goal is to de-institutionalize long-term care and transform the environments into “home.”  Regardless of the setting or the services provided, it is a focus on quality care that provides quality of life.

There are many models of care and approaches under the culture change umbrella:  Eden Alternative, Wellspring, Green House Project, Pioneer Network, Planetree, Household, The Live Oak Institute.  They all focus on building relationships, and joining together to create communities where elders want to live and employees choose to work.  They all emphasize the individual and put the person first.

Aging Services of Georgia endorses culture change, and believes that it should become the norm throughout the continuum of care – wherever aging services are delivered.  We are dedicated to providing quality housing and services that seniors need, when they need them, in the place they call home.  We support the transformational leadership that is necessary to encourage, empower and train staff to become active partners on the journey of change.