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Senior Living Full Court Press Team Explores Residential Care Models

On March 4, the Senior Living Full Court Press (FCP) Team met to discuss senior residential living models and to advance plans for the Teaching Research Nursing Home Pilot Project introduced at the last meeting by Terry Fulmer, PhD, RN, FAAN, President and CEO of the John A. Hartford Foundation.

A range of stakeholders from academic nursing and geriatrics programs, long-term care providers, and health systems led a review of the model and its benefits.

Jackie Dunbar-Jacob, Dean of the University of Pittsburgh School of Nursing emphasized the great educational opportunities that the model would create. Nursing students would gain a better understanding of patients' needs in long-term care and engage in quality improvement projects, she said, while students and faculty could serve as patient and staff educators.

Valerie Njie drew from her experience with the Bidwell Training Center to note the importance of creating career pathways for long-term care health workers. In particular, certified nursing assistants could climb the ladder and feel more valued if on-the-job training were made available through a teaching nursing home.

Bobbie Gray, Senior Director of Presbyterian Senior Care noted that the model offers opportunities for professional development in nursing and to advance innovations in healthcare, such as telehealth, increased mobility, and more efficient prescribing.

Molly Langford, Senior Director of Clinical Practice at Genesis Physician Services drew focus to the opportunity to translate metrics into good, evidence-based practice. The model could improve patient care and unite the entire care team.

David Nace, Chief Medical Officer at UPMC Senior Communities said that teaching nursing homes could support research on best practices for real-world care and could help healthcare workers apply knowledge at the bedside. In addition, the model is advantageous to hospitals, he said, because it allows greater information sharing when transferring patients between facilities.

In smaller groups, the team delved further into the logistics of how to operationalize the pilot project in three regions of the Commonwealth of PA. Team members provided advice on how to refine the structure, activities, and key players to be included in this model.

As a follow up to the previous Senior Living Full Court Press Team meeting, JHF COO and Chief Program Officer Nancy Zionts presented a series of promising senior residential care models and suggested building blocks that illustrate how each model could best serve different subsets of the senior population. Nancy noted that there are currently few options for those of middle income. The suggested new models include: PACE models, smart homes, greenhouses, intergenerational and campus-based housing, and continuing care retirement communities.

Future discussions will focus on the teaching nursing homes model, which will advance thanks to JHF's partnerships with the John A. Hartford Foundation and schools of health professions across Pennsylvania.

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