7 Essential Tips for Implementing Sustainable Culture Change in Aging Service Providers Amidst Challenges and Limited Funding



Anyone reading this will understand the chaos that aging service providers have experienced in recent years. I'm sure you will agree that the pandemic's domino effect on staffing shortages is nothing short of excruciating. Thankfully, it has prompted stakeholders to think outside the box, re-look at their practices and reboot. 


The proliferation of quality-of-life solutions for our aging world is apparent with technological advances we never thought possible just a few years ago. With this, the delivery of information that can help improve the quality of care keeps getting more effective as providers understand that we learn and absorb information differently today. All of this is excellent news!


All of these solutions and advancements cost money to create. Nothing new about that. Have some of these solutions left many aging service providers out of the game? The financial losses associated with COVID and staffing shortages have left little for culture change programming for many stakeholders. 


What is the solution when we MUST continue to move forward? 


Here is the difficulty many providers face: how do we keep up with what we need to do to improve life for our residents, clients, patients, and families - and do this with limited funding? 


If you ask yourself these questions, it's time to return to the basics. 


Here are 7 tips to keep in mind as you review your current programming:


  1. Is it practical? Can staff engage with the training in meaningful ways that create positive change and do so easily? Your staff needs tools - easy-to-learn, practical tools to help them provide better care. These are the basics in your journey to creating a positive culture change. 

  2. Is it useful to all staff? If a program benefits only a few, does this lead to culture change? We need everyone on board to sail a ship. That's how organizations move their mission forward.  

  3. Does it engage families? We've left families out of the culture change discussion too many times. Educating families and participating as part of the care team dramatically improves the quality of life, and quality of care, and creates positive culture change. It's magic!

  4. Is it sustainable? This is a big one! Culture change is a journey. You cannot create change by scattering programs that don't carry the backbone of long-term integration tools embedded within the program. 

  5. Does it offer a community-facing component? When programs integrate this model, guess what? You now have your operations and marketing team on board. Your program can build referrals, census numbers, and revenue. Bingo!

  6. Does the program have the integration tools necessary to get you off the ground and running? With limited staff and increasing business pressures, a program must come with everything needed in a neat and tidy package, so to speak.  

  7. Is it a financially viable option? Great programming that integrates family education, community engagement, sustainability, and the tools necessary for successful integration does not have to break the bank! In fact, there are great solutions out there that meet all these criteria. 


Culture change is about moving forward despite challenges. As we have learned all too well, we will continue to face challenges of one kind or another. We have an aging population swelling by the day and providers scrambling for solutions to meet varied demands. 


Doing nothing is certainly not an option for moving forward. 


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