A nursing home is just that. A home. Culture Change is a movement intended to create a home-like environment for residents where they receive individualized care to meet their social, emotional, spiritual, and health care needs in a manner that respects individual resident's values and routines. Culture Change encourages facilities to move away from a medical or institutional model to a person-centered model of care, while giving residents a sense of purpose.
Key elements to Culture Change include:
  • person-centered care
  • home-like environment
  • permanent staff assignments
  • resident choices and decisions are honored
  • spontaneous activities
  • intergenerational programs
  • increased community involvement
Family Councils

"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed it's the only thing that ever does." - by Margaret Mead

Family councils give families and friends a united voice to address issues that affect the quality of life for residents who live in long-term care facilities. Facilities certified for Medicare and Medicaid must provide a meeting space, cooperate with the council’s activities, and respond to the group’s concerns.
Families are guaranteed the right to form and hold regular meetings of a family council by the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act. Facilities must appoint a staff liaison to the family council, but staff and administrators have access to council meetings only by invitation.
Family councils bring concerns to the facility administration in order to resolve problems and to ensure residents receive quality care. Family Councils are not intended to be a support group, but a group with the goals of addressing concerns and improving care.
Two primary goals for family councils 
  • To protect and improve the quality of life for residents in the facility 
  • To give families a voice in decisions that affect them and the residents.
Each family council is unique. Family Councils take constructive action, seek strong leadership, and maintain regular communication with facility staff.
For more information on the Pioneer Approach to Long-Term Care and Family Councils, visit the The National Consumer Voice website, or contact...

Return to Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program page.