WASHINGTON (June 5, 2006) — The National Religious Retirement Office (NRRO) will undertake a major training initiative for staff of 75 U.S. religious institutes in how to provide person-centered care for elderly religious.
In collaboration with Mather LifeWays Institute on Aging, the initiative will involve development of training modules to be used to instruct front line staff in best practices of person-centered care. This program is supported by a grant from The Retirement Research Foundation of Chicago, which has promoted person-centered long-term care for 15 years. The new project will be the first to train religious who provide long-term care for their own members.
The institutes assisted by NRRO serve nearly 38,000 religious men and women age 70 or older living in a variety of care settings, including independent living, assisted living and skilled care facilities. The NRRO is dedicated to helping these institutes provide quality care for their members as well as to providing education for direct care staff in current best practices.
"We are very excited that institute staffs will have access to best practices in person-centered care related to programming, dementia care, and staff development," said Sister Andree Fries, Executive Director of NRRO.
Person-centered care is defined as a caring culture that establishes positive relationships between staff and residents that respect an older adult's life history, identity, and preferences; ensure engagement in meaningful activity; and provide and encourage an overall sense of well-being.
The goals of the project, which is being funded through a grant of $182,446, are to:
-- Provide an effective Person-Centered Care Training Program (PCCTP) to improve the skills and competencies of long-term care staff
-- Conduct a pre/post process and outcome evaluation of the PCCTP.
Outcomes to be measured include improved staff knowledge, skills, work effectiveness and job satisfaction.
The training modules and a Training Conference will be developed under the direction of the Mather LifeWays Institute on Aging.
"We're very excited about this opportunity to work with the NRRO and pleased that The Retirement Research Foundation is interested in promoting the importance of training long-term care workers in person-centered care," said David Lindeman, Vice President, Mather LifeWays Institute on Aging. "As we expand ways for older adults to age well, it is important that communities move away from a strictly medical model of residential care based on functional losses and custodial approaches of care, to care that is based on a person's characteristics and preferences and engages them in the care process."
It is anticipated that the training program will result in enhanced quality of life for residents and organizational advances for institutes through improved resource management.
Sister Janice Bader, Project Director of Retirement Services for the NRRO, stressed the importance of dignity.
"Throughout their lifetime, religious have given themselves totally to their ministries of service and prayer. NRRO seeks to assist religious institutes in providing dignified, quality care for these religious in their dependent years," she said. "Recognition of the sacredness of each person is a cornerstone of our religious life. NRRO is pleased to collaborate with Mather LifeWays in this training opportunity which will provide practical ways to express our reverence for our elders."
This initiative will run through July 30, 2007.
The NRRO was established in 1986 to support Catholic religious institutes of women and men in the United States in assessing and planning for the retirement needs of their growing
older adult population. A primary goal of NRRO is to ensure that elderly religious receive the quality of care and services they need. The National Religious Retirement Office coordinates a collection taken up annually in parishes across the country and distributes these monies in grants to eligible religious institutes for their retirement needs. In addition, the National Religious Retirement Office offers programs to support, educate and assist religious institutes in planning and providing for the care of their elder members.
For more than 50 years, Evanston, Illinois-based Mather LifeWays has been seen as a unique not-for-profit organization dedicated to enhancing the lives of older adults through lifestyle and residential alternatives that create Ways to Age Well.sm From independent living to memory support and skilled care, Mather LifeWays' senior residences comprise a continuum of living and choices. Through community initiatives, including the successful Mather's—More Than a Café concept, neighborhoods become better places for older adults to live, work, learn, contribute, and play. The Mather LifeWays Institute on Aging plays a leading role in enhancing the lives of older adults through numerous collaborative and applied research and education projects. To learn more about Mather LifeWays, find your Way to www.matherlifeways.com.