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Culture Change Best Practices:


mother with daughter at workHistorically, children have viewed nursing homes as scary, cold and sterile places. If the true sicknesses of nursing homes are loneliness, isolation and boredom, then children are the perfect antidote. One of the best ways to encourage children to feel more comfortable is to create a play area just for them. Find an area in a room (often times a corner in the front living room) where a toy chest can be placed. Fill this with donated items from staff. Children will quickly find this area, and will look forward to playing when they come to visit their family members.

Another way to welcome children is to encourage staff to bring their children to work on a regular basis. Rather than a staff member calling out due to a childcare issue, offer them the opportunity to bring their child to work. Think of the nursing home as having a multitude of grandmothers and grandfathers (the residents) and aunts and uncles (the staff). Culturally transformed homes welcome children with open arms, and share the responsibility of watching after them with joy.