Carolina Culture Change Coalition

"It's My House" submitted by Amanda Green BSW/LNHA, Windsor Point's Heath Care Administrator for the newsletter of the NC Culture Change Coalition.

"It's My House"

It's my house and I live here
There's my chair and I put it there
Books of feeling on the shelf above
'Cause it was built for love
I was built for love

How fitting are the words of Diana Ross’ lyrics, “It’s My House” from the year 1979?  It’s almost as if Diana Ross was singing about the culture change that is currently sweeping the nation in a growing number of nursing homes.  Nursing home residents are demanding that their daily schedules reflect the normal routines of their day to day home lives.  They are demanding more control over their lives and this is not an unreasonable demand. 

In my house, I sit in my favorite spot on the couch, I recline back; I listen to my favorite music or just flip through the channels until I am pleased with the TV programming.  I feel at home in my house.  If you ask residents of nursing homes what would make them happy they will name the exact same things that would make you happy.  They want to wake up when they want, they want to sit on the patio and drink a cup of coffee and read the newspaper, they want to eat when and where they want, they want to entertain themselves how they see fit, they want to bathe when and how they want, they want to prepare food of their choosing, they want to stand on the porch and smoke a cigarette, they want to get a snack in the middle of the night or they want to go to the kitchen just to open the refrigerator and stare.

In my house I am in my castle and I control my activities of daily living which are not scored.  There is nowhere else I make every decision for myself because I am fully aware of my preferences.  Imagine giving all of that power and authority over me to people at a traditional nursing home who has never met me.  Will I be able to sit on the couch, will their even have a couch that reclines? Will I be able to listen to my favorite music uninterrupted by the call bells?  Will I be able to watch my favorite TV show without a large medicine cart outside my door?  Will I be able to read the newspaper without the interruption of the overhead paging system or the bed and body alarm?  I’m scared!

I want to maintain control over my life if I ever need care in a nursing home environment.  I want to feel welcomed and treated like family.  I want to live a full life of purpose.  If my address ever changed to the local nursing home I want to always feel at home in my house!

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