Person Centered Care
Person Centered Care

Person Centered Care

"Introducing Person Centered Care"

The Culture is Changing at Mennonite Home Communities as we have reinvented the way residents live through Person Centered Care.

When it's time to give up a house because you need a little - or a lot - of assistance with everyday living, it doesn't mean you have to give up a home. This is the new philosophy here at Mennonite Home Communities (MHC), a continuing care retirement community in Lancaster, PA. We have reinvented the way we deliver care with an extensive physical renovation and a culture change involving the adoption of a Person Centered Care concept which more intensely focuses on the residents' quality of everyday living.

"We're putting the emphasis on home in our care and surroundings. The reinvention is about our caregivers getting to know residents as neighbors; what they enjoy and how they want to spend their days," said J. Nelson Kling, President of Mennonite Home Communities.

The Person Centered Care concept is based on individual households, unlike the traditional nursing home which is based on a hospital model. Residents in each household make decisions as a group about many of their activities, including how they welcome a new resident, celebrate birthdays or in what group activities they will participate. "Now, everyday living isn't as clinical and routine as in the past - that isn't the way life is," continued Kling. "For example, if a resident wants to sleep in, no problem, not everyone is a morning person."

The $13 million reinvention is a continuation of the physical renovation of our buildings which began about five years ago. Interior spaces continue to be reinvented, expanded and redecorated. Some of the recent improvements include a café serving Starbucks coffee, an all season room, a library and a country store. The spaces are designed to allow in more natural light with furnishings more residential in style.

The culture change began early in 2007 with the vetting and introduction of the Person Centered Care concept. After extensive training for the caregivers, residents moved into the first Person Centered Care household in March of 2008; and the final two households were completed in October of 2009.

The reinvention supports the culture change as the former skilled nursing floors are transformed into households which will become home to 16 to 22 residents. Each household is designed like a house with its own front door; residential-style kitchen; dining room; living room with a fireplace; parlor; washer and dryer; and a spa; providing the sounds, smells and feeling of a home.

"Around meal time, the households fill with familiar aromas from the household's kitchen. After the meal, you can hear the dishwasher running - just as you would in your home," said Kling. "And, sometimes between meals, the residents may be baking cookies.

Though the reinvention includes a change in culture and surroundings, it is not a change in the quality of care; however, it will operate in a more subtle manner. For example, nursing stations, which used to be the hub of a nursing home floor, are now private charting rooms, out of the sight of visitors and residents.

"Our residents' well-being is our main concern - both body and spirit. Living each day in a home, not a hospital, makes for a happy spirit," said John Sauder, VP of Health Services at MHC. "Our reinvention is about knowing residents better as people, understanding their daily pleasures and making sure they are enjoying their lives."

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    Residential Campus

    2001 Harrisburg Pike
    Lancaster, PA 17601
    Ph: 717.390.4100

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    Care Campus

    1520 Harrisburg Pike
    Lancaster, PA 17601
    Ph: 717.393.1301

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