“It's a lot!” the universal worker model and dementia care in assisted living
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Citation of Original PublicationHrybyk, Regina L.; Frankowski, Ann Christine; Nemec, Mary; Peeples, Amanda D.; “It's a lot!” the universal worker model and dementia care in assisted living; Geriatric Nursing (2020); https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0197457220302500#!
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The culture change movement aims to create a more home-like environment in long-term care settings, promote person-centered care, and support the well-being of staff and residents. One feature of Culture Change is the Universal Worker (UW) model where direct care workers (DCWs) are responsible for housekeeping, laundry, and activities in addition to administering medication and personal support. The longitudinal approach in the ethnographic study on which this paper is based compares data collected from one assisted living across three NIA-supported research grants. This paper focuses on modifications to the UW model following the implementation of culture change over a period of ten years. As DCWs cared for residents with increasing levels of dementia, time constraints under the UW model led to sporadic attention to housekeeping chores and challenged person-centered care. Modifying the UW model, by using dedicated cleaning staff and other support workers, better preserves the intent of the culture change movement.