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Leading Age- Change is in the Air

by Louis on October 24, 2011

I did not take last week off!

I attended the Leading Age (formerly AAHSA) conference, Celebrate Age,  here in DC.  I really owe it to my friend and colleague Joel Shapira. If he had not come down from Chicago and pulled me along I would have slipped in and out, not fully attentive.

The switch from American Association of Homes and Services for the Aging to Leading Age indicates that change is on their minds. This conference has a sense of excited transition. From my perspective, based on the sessions I chose, the excitement  runs along two lines.

1. What is (are) the business model(s) for home and community based services (Aging in Place)? How will established homes and communities add this to their offerings?

2. Culture Change- This is a movement, maybe best represented by the Pioneer Network, to reorient nursing and assisted living homes to patient centeredness and patient direction.

You may hear me grumpy here when I compare this to the recent Dominoes Pizza campaign. They revamped their ingredients completely to increase quality. Left unsaid is how they had the gall to sell us the old stuff?

Similarly, how can nursing homes and assisted living as an industry have paid so little attention to patients in the past? I read a report on a consumer education/research project they did called the Creating Home Consumer Project.  I am not sure I agree with their conclusions. I think boomers and other consumers may not be interested in this because it is the provider’s responsibility…not the consumer’s, to deliver a good product. I don’t get the feeling the doors are open wide enough to embracing large scale change. It still  feels patronizing to me.

I read one ‘how to get started’ bit on bathing…they are pointed in the right direction but if this is a mind opener, they have a long way to go!.

I met some new folks and saw many dear friends. Great show floor! More to come on this great conference.

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