Building The Long-Term Care System Of The Future: Will The COVID-19 Nursing Home Tragedies Lead To Real Reform?

Replace aging and outdated facilities, particularly in low-income communities. Moving forward, nursing homes and other institutional settings should be smaller, with single-occupancy rooms and low staff-to-resident ratios (see, for example, the Green House Project). Environments that offer a more homelike setting can help with infection control and can lead to better health outcomes for residents with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias. These efforts can be accelerated by strengthening federal and state standards on nursing home size, room occupancy, and minimum staffing ratios.

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  • “There is always going to be a portion of people who require maybe a more intensive level of care and also always a proportion of people who would prefer to receive care in a communal setting. How are you setting yourself up to be that provider of choice in a market where maybe there’s less global demand for nursing home beds, but people want privacy, people want to really know their caregivers?”

  • “The evidence so far is that the staff is significantly more engaged with residents, avoidable hospitalizations and readmission rates are lower, and family satisfaction is higher. Perhaps most surprising to those who focus on costs, both interventions saw operating margins and market position tick up.”

  • “Most people with ALS want to stay home rather than suffer the indignity of moving to a traditional nursing home. I hope for a world in which the Leonard Florence Center for Living is the standard of care in America.”

  • “We have seen significant positive outcomes with this model of care, and I really think it is the empowered staff and the meaningful life focus that we have at the Green House home that contributes to keeping our staff, having our staff engaged, and really having them feel like they are the key in that relationship.”