Social Model of Long-Term Care

The Neighborhoods at Brookview implements the Social Model of long-term care, distinctly different from the traditional hospital model.

The hospital model, which originated in the 1950s, delivered high‐quality, standardized care to a large number of individuals. The focus on maximizing efficiency resulted in standard design trademarks: long, double‐loaded corridors; cafeterias; down‐the‐hall bathing facilities; large, institutional medication carts; institutional nurses’ stations; and shared rooms.

In contrast, the social model creates a homelike setting. It grants autonomy and encourages seniors to make their own life decisions. Residents choose the times at which they wish to wake up, sleep and bathe. The social model also emphasizes the resident‐caregiver relationship, creating an atmosphere where residents experience dignity, autonomy, comfort and personal choice.

The new Universal Worker concept expands staff roles. Each caregiver works as a member of a self‐directed team and is trained to identify and support residents’ individual care needs and personal choices. The self‐directed teams improve resident care and staff performance while encouraging residents’ choices and staff cooperation and reducing staff turnover.

The social model also incorporates physical environment changes that support the natural patterns of home life. For example, residents have access to home living spaces such as a kitchen, dining room, and living room.

Within this model, residents no longer have to stand in line in the cafeteria at pre‐set times for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Rather, they can sit around the table and enjoy family style‐dining. The household kitchen – as opposed to the institutional cafeteria – functions as an informal social area where residents can continue to engage in daily activities of living.

Research shows that physical environment changes which create a homelike, less institutional setting, increase residents’ socialization and improve their behavioral health outcomes.