Empowering Staff is Key to Person-Centered Care

July 28, 2011
Kavan Peterson, Editor, ChangingAging.org

The Eden Alternative is thriving in Australia and DutchCare, the first nursing home facility Down Under to be endorsed in all 10 Eden Alternative principles, is gaining accolades for its commitment to empowering front-line staff. Australia’s leading long-term care magazine Aged Care INsight published this report on DutchCare’s transformation through the Eden Alternative:

In any aged care facility, it is the staff working on the ground who know best the needs and wants of the residents in their care. By recognizing this knowledge, and empowering staff to act accordingly, the level of resident care improves.

It is this mantra that underpins much of the management philosophy at DutchCare, a Victorian organisation that was recently the first Australian residential provider to be accredited in the 10 Eden principles in each of its aged care facilities.

CEO Petra Neeleman says it is this empowerment of staff – and not the “plants, kids and animals” people generally associate with Eden – that has led to the culture change in the organisation.

“Staff have the best idea of what older people need, and so it’s our job as managers to support them and give them the resources necessary. The staff is empowered to make life as good as it can be for residents, and make things happen. And they do,” she says.

Read more here.

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1 Comment. Leave new

“In any aged care facility, it is the staff working on the ground who know best the needs and wants of the residents in their care. By recognizing this knowledge, and empowering staff to act accordingly, the level of resident care improves. … CEO Petra Neeleman says it is this empowerment of staff … that has led to the culture change in the organisation.”

Ms. Neeleman: How DO you accomplish this elusive goal? Learning programs (NOT “training”) and action research are two useful modalities. What other ones have you used? What works best? How do you maintain staff members’ interest and attention to continual improvement and construtive change?
Many working to serve Elders’ needs will want to know. Many thanks. D.W., 8/25/2010.
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