Sustainability in Dementia Care – It’s Not Just a Buzz Term

sustainabilitySustainability in training programs that improve patient and resident outcomes is critically important. Upper and middle managment must embrace change initiatives in order to successfully compete in an increasingly crowded marketplace.

But what happens after these programs are implemented?  Far too often we hear that wonderful “culture change” programs faded in time, often because the champions were no longer with the company, or had moved to other positions.  Unfortuantely for the organization, this means an investment of time, money and resources had gone to waste. This may be a result of poor planning and program implementation or simply a matter of not enough staff to oversee the program to ensure its success. In addition, many such programs are limited by proper funding and acceptance by upper management to the extent that there is never a cohesiveness to keep the elements of the program working smoothly.

It IS possible to have program sustainability.  With proper planning, collaborative efforts with training partners and the placement of champion leaders throught the employee spectrum, sustainable programmming is very possible.  In fact, we know that it can work! Below are just some examples of how programs can be made sustainable.

  • Champion leaders are made of upper, middle management and staff.  All team members working together on change initiatives is vital.
  • Management should encourage problem-solving skills among all staff as new programs are implemented.   Without idea generators, how would new practices every get off the ground?
  • Provide incentives for staff who practice culture change initiatives and embrace these in their everyday care routines.  By including simple accountability systems using champion leaders, this will insure that new tools are being used effectively and efficiently.
  • Make certain that everyone understands the big picure of why new practices are being implemented.
  • And finally, sustainability is afterall, not just about how you run your business but how you treat your staff.

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