Culture Change in Elder Care

By Judah L. Ronch, Ph.D., and Audrey S. Weiner, D.S.W., M.P.H.

ISBN 978-1-932529-86-9
392 pages
6 x 9 papercover
© 2013

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Discover the essential benefits of approaching elder care in a more person-centered way and be a part of transforming the culture of long-term care, in this first book in the Leading Principles and Practices in Elder Care series.

Culture Change in Elder Care is a one-of-a-kind exploration of the ongoing efforts to revolutionize elder care in America, with contributions from many of the innovators who have championed the “culture change” movement. Supporting the ideals of person-centered care from economic, practical, and moral perspectives, it also speaks to the changing demands of long-term care consumers and how care communities will remain competitive by creating settings where residents and staff can live and grow, and not just grow old. Gain insight into the essential arguments, values, and business case for why traditional care models have and must change to better serve the needs of today’s older adults.

Highlighting the key principles of person-centered care, including listening to the voices of elders and providing meaningful choices, this book also:

  • debunks perceived legal and regulatory impediments to culture change
  • promotes the changes needed at local, state, and federal levels to bring focus to higher quality of life and improved care practices
  • illuminates the many benefits to be gained from embracing culture change
  • offers advice on the future for community owners, administrators, and managers

The most up-to-date resource on the transformative changes occurring in elder care services, Culture Change in Elder Care proves that new approaches have become more than theory and are a practical reality, with stronger justifications than ever before.

Remain a leading provider in your community—turn towards the future of elder care and emphasize dignity, choice, and comfort in the day-to-day lives of older adults.

Format: E-book
e-ISBN 978-1-938870-21-7

E-book available through:

Also available through: Chegg, Baker and Taylor, OverDrive, Gardners, and Follett

Leading Principles & Practices in Elder Care: Series Preface
About the Editors
Foreword, by Kathy Greenlee

Part I. History

Chapter 1:
Pioneer Network: A Movement to Change the Culture of Long-Term Care—Why Aren’t We There Yet?
Rose Marie Fagan

Chapter 2:
Defining the Gains of Culture Change: The Business Case and Beyond
Amy E. Elliot and Bonnie Kantor-Burman

Chapter 3:
Culture Change in Nursing Homes: The Commonwealth Fund 2007 National Survey of Nursing Homes
Mary Jane Koren and Michelle M. Doty

Part II. Values

Chapter 4:
Hearing the Voice of the Elder: From Private Troubles to Public Issues
Tabassum Majid

Chapter 5:
Giant Playpens or the Invincible Summer
William L. Minnix

Chapter 6:
The Power of Language to Create Culture
Judah L. Ronch, Carmen S. Bowman, and Galina Madjaroff

Chapter 7:
Choice in Dining: Food for Thought from Research and Practice
Judah L. Ronch and Carmen S. Bowman

Part III. Policy

Chapter 8:
Successful State Leadership Models for Culture Change
Robyn I. Stone and Natasha S. Bryant

Chapter 9:
Quality-of-Life Stories: From Government Standards to Daily Practice
Barbara Frank, David Farrell, and Cathie Brady

Chapter 10:
Nursing Home Culture Change: Legal Apprehensions and Opportunities
Marshall B. Kapp

Part IV. Foundations for Implementation

Chapter 11:
Future Pull: Understanding the Culture in Culture Change
LaVrene Norton

Chapter 12:
Successful Philanthropy Requires Culture Change
Robert N. Mayer


Culture Change in Elder Care (Excerpt) by Health Professions Press

Judah L. Ronch, Ph.D., is Dean of the Erickson School at the University of Maryland Baltimore County, the first-of-its-kind professional school that prepares professionals, undergraduate, and graduate students to be managers and leaders to work in aging services. He has researched and written extensively on the debilitating effects of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease and has pioneered major reforms in the long-term care industry to improve the mental health of older adults and the working conditions of those who care for them.

Prior to the Erickson School, Dr. Ronch served as Vice President of Resident Life, Mental Health and Wellness, for Erickson Retirement Communities in Baltimore, where he developed resident service and staff education programs to optimize the mental wellness of more than 20,000 residents across 18 communities.

Dr. Ronch also founded and served as Executive Director of LifeSpan DevelopMental Systems, which for more than 30 years created numerous innovative programs of clinical service, research, staff development systems consultation, and organizational development to meet the mental health needs of aging adults in various parts of the United States.

He is the former Executive Director of the Brookdale Center on Aging of Hunter College in New York City and served on the faculties of Vassar College and the University of Miami.

Dr. Ronch’s books include Alzheimer’s Disease: A Practical Guide for Families and Other Helpers and The Counseling Sourcebook: A Practical Reference on Contemporary Issues (1994), winner of the 1995 Catholic Press Association of the United States Book Award. He is co-editor (with Joseph Goldfield) of Mental Wellness in Aging: Strength-Based Approaches (2003), winner of a 2004 Mature Media Award. Dr. Ronch is also co-editor (with Audrey Weiner) of Culture Change in Long-Term Care (2003), Culture Change in Elder Care (2013), and Models and Pathways for Person-Centered Elder Care (2013), the latter 2 being part of the series Leading Principles & Practices in Elder Care. His numerous journal articles and professional presentations include contributions in psychotherapy and counseling for older adults, care of persons with Alzheimer’s disease and related disorders, caregiver issues, staff training, and service delivery issues in geriatric care.

Dr. Ronch earned his B.A. in Psychology from Hunter College, CUNY, in 1966, and his Ph.D. in Psychology from Yeshiva University in 1972.

Audrey S. Weiner, D.S.W., M.P.H., is President and CEO of the Jewish Home Lifecare in New York, which serves 10,000 elders a year through its rehabilitation, long-term skilled nursing, housing, home care, adult day, care management, and transportation services. Dr. Weiner is the author of numerous publications, many addressing the transformation of nursing homes. She was the founding editor of the Journal of Social Work in Long-Term Care, and in 2003 co-edited (with Judah Ronch, Ph.D.) Making the Case for Culture Change in Long-Term Care—the first text to address the topic. Dr. Weiner is also co-editor with Dr. Ronch of Culture Change in Elder Care (2013) and Models & Pathways for Person-Centered Elder Care (2013), which are part of the series Leading Principles & Practices in Elder Care.

She currently serves as Chair and Board member of LeadingAge nationally, is past Chair and Board member of the Continuing Care Leadership Coalition (a New York area nonprofit, long-term care provider association), and is a Board member of the Greater New York Hospital Association. She previously chaired the LeadingAge Ethics Commission and Talent Cabinet.

Dr. Weiner received her doctorate in Social Welfare Administration from the Graduate Center of the City University of New York, and her Master’s in Public Health from Yale University.

7 reviews for Culture Change in Elder Care

  1. admin

    “Drawing on groundbreaking research, powerful storytelling, and first-hand accounts from several long-term care pioneers, Culture Change in Elder Care provides a central perspective on the formative years of nursing home culture change. This is a particularly valuable resource for healthcare management and quality improvement professionals and students who are the successors of the culture change legacy.”

    —Michael James Lepore, Ph.D..
    Director of Quality, Research & Evaluation Planetree & Adjunct Assistant Professor of Health Services, Policy, & Practice Brown University

  2. admin

    “This book brings together a useful and hopeful look at the past, present and future of elder care in the U.S. It is a must read for those committed to improving care for older adults. The qualitative and quantitative information provided will drive practice, policy and profit in the future.”

    —Joanne Rader, RN, MN
    Consultant, Rader Consulting

  3. admin

    “Through a combination of data, case examples, and explicit guidelines, Culture Change in Elder Care, provides a road map for improving the lives of elders living in long-term care.”

    —Peter V. Rabins, MD, MPH
    Johns Hopkins School of Medicine

  4. admin

    “Reading this exciting new update to this Textbook of the Movement is like sitting down to dinner with the leaders of the movement to hear their stories and feel their passions for making life wonderful in long term care.”

    —Karen Schoeneman, MPA
    retired CMS regulator, owner of Karen Schoeneman Consulting

  5. admin

    “This book is the definitive collection of experience and competence… It is a must read for boards, owners, policy makers, professionals—and even consumers—to finally create the kind of nursing home that is worthy of public trust and support.”

    —Larry Minnix
    President and CEO, LeadingAge

  6. admin

    “Culture Change in Elder Care is a much needed resource; a ‘must have.’ It reflects ‘the latest’ in research, data and thinking which is needed to move the culture change movement forward. The number of communities without a changed culture is unfortunately still vast. Thus, this series is a blessing and a gift. Let’s all help to get it into the hands of many.”

    —Carmen Bowman, M.H.S., Edu-Catering (Catering Education for Compliance and Culture Change)

  7. admin

    “Drs. Ronch and Weiner have done an excellent job bringing together a diverse set of perspectives on both the why and the how of culture change. This volume’s exploration of where we are today and where champions of this movement seek to take us going forward provides a critical and powerful call to action. It challenges each of us to reflect on how far we have come, yet how much more work remains before we can ensure that options are available to each elder in America that are truly, in the words of the Pioneer Network vision, ‘life-affirming, satisfying, humane, and meaningful.’ This book offers ways that we can each contribute to bringing this vision to fruition in our own unique roles and worlds, not only for ‘them,’ or the people we serve, but for ‘us,’ the elders of tomorrow— and to help us recognize that we in fact are one and the same. A must read for anyone engaged in or concerned with the field of aging services!”

    —Ruta Kadonoff, MA, MHS, Vice President, Quality & Regulatory Affairs, American Health Care Association

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