It’s been a year since the inception of “Leading by Example,” and looking back, we are amazed at the innovative practices taking place in nursing homes across the United States.
Despite the negative stories that have been reported in the mainstream media, it’s clear that there is a significant effort in the nursing home industry to improve the quality of care that residents receive, to improve staff efficiency and to make nursing homes a better place to live and work.
From dentists like Dr. Kristin Outlan of Los Angeles who make house (and nursing home!) calls and specialize in working with geriatric patients, to nursing homes reconnecting residents with the community by teaming with a global service organization, like Brinton Manor of Glen Mills, and those adopting “community first, business second” practices, nursing homes and individuals are bringing about collaborative change in many surprising ways.

Change beckons
Some SNFs, such as the Jewish Home of Los Angeles, which constructed a progressive dementia care facility from the ground up after conducting extensive research, are literally built around change, pushing the industry toward better, more specialized care. While measures of this scale are not a viable economic possibility for all nursing homes, even those with a meager budget have demonstrated remarkable adaptability by instituting practices that cost little to nothing to implement.
At Nineteenth Avenue Healthcare in San Francisco, for example, prospective employees must meet a mixed panel of residents and staff to ensure they’re a fit with the facility’s culture—in addition to undergoing the job interview. This kind of nontraditional assessment costs nothing but time and makes everyone happy.
Moving forward with this column, we want to continue to shed light on the inspiring people who are changing the landscape of today’s nursing homes and nursing home care. These innovators are clearly leading by example. Please share your thoughts with us at Also, to learn more about Gilbert Guide, go to