At Aviston Countryside Manor, a nursing home in Aviston, Illinois, a most unusual program is underway that is gaining some national attention.
The residents have created a resident panel that plays a key role in all hiring decisions. According to a report from McKnights, any candidate for any position must be unanimously approved by the panel.
Resident councils aren’t new. In fact, federal law says that nursing home residents have the right to set up councils of residents and families. The councils are supposed to facilitate communication between residents, family members, and nursing home employees and administration.
Typically, that’s the extent of their authority. The idea of a resident or family council having any direct impact on day-to-day activities inside a nursing home like Aviston Countryside Manor is extremely rare.
Despite this unusual show of accommodation, Aviston Countryside Manor is not without its faults. It’s a large home, with more than its share of health inspection deficiencies. It has been repeatedly cited for failing to keep a facility free of accident risks and providing adequate supervision to residents, according to Medicare.gov.
In many ways, Aviston Countryside Manor is merely ahead of a curve. The retirement of the baby boomer generation is shifting many priorities at a state and a national level. There will soon be many, many, elderly voters who don’t want to be forced into uncomfortable, institutional living conditions. Aviston Countryside Manor is a facility with over 90 beds. If they are going to survive, they will need to adapt to what their customers are demanding.
Nursing homes have to do more than provide token symbols of autonomy. They need to take drastic actions to stem the tide of nursing home abuse and nursing home neglect that has reached epidemic levels in this country and around the world. As any regular reader of this blog knows, the incidents of abuse and neglect are both heartbreaking and all too common.