Nursing home residents appreciate caring staff, but workers could do a better job honoring resident wishes, survey finds

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Caring staff members who form close relationships with residents are a strength of long-term care facilities, but workers could more consistently honor residents' choices and privacy, according to recently released focus group data.

Nearly 570 residents, family members and staff participated in the focus groups, which were conducted by Planetree starting in November 2012. Planetree assists healthcare providers in transitioning to more patient-centered care.

The Harvey Picker Center of Innovation and Applied Research utilized the focus group findings to identify key strengths and opportunities for improvement for the eight long-term care communities involved.

Residents, family and staff all agreed that satisfaction stems from workers who exhibit caring attitudes. Compassionate, close relationships between staff and residents also are valued. Implementing person-centered care improved the experience of all stakeholder groups over time, the focus groups showed.

However, there was still room for improvement in a key area of person-centered care: honoring choices made by residents. The report included this as a representative quote from a resident: “They say to me that if I put you to bed to change you then you have to stay there. I am not getting you back up.”

A quote from a non-supervisory staff member struck a similar note: “They really can't get up when they want.”

Family members saw lapses in preserving residents' dignity and the failure to honor their preferences as potentially indicative of larger issues in the facility.

Other areas identified for improvement included communication between shifts and empowering non-supervisory staff.

The full report can be seen here

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