Once upon a time, most people dreaded life in a nursing home. Parents made their children vow they would never ‘put them in a home,’ fearful of a cold environment, intense loneliness, and a complete loss of privacy and choice. This fear comes from the fact that many senior care communities are modeled after hospitals, with a heavy healthcare focus and a structured, scheduled day. But what if you or your senior parent can find a long-term nursing care option that allows them to receive personalized healthcare, in the environment of home, without giving up their current lifestyle? In the Birmingham, Alabama area – you can! It’s called the Household Model of care.
In March of 2017, Fair Haven in Birmingham opened the first Household Care building for long-term nursing care in the state of Alabama. This new model of care is also in place at Fair Haven for assisted living, short-term rehabilitation, and memory care assisted living.
Fair Haven’s Household Model is the brainchild of Action Pact, an industry leader in bring about culture change in care of aging persons. The innovative care model was born out of a shift in thinking that began in the early 1990s when a small group of nursing home professionals began to challenge business as usual in the nation’s nursing homes. In 1997 they formed a national non-profit organization called the Pioneer Network and began advocating deep cultural changes to the environment and processes of long-term care.
At Fair Haven, each long-term nursing care Household accommodates 21 members. Each person has their own private bedroom and bathroom, with access to shared public spaces that resemble home, such as a full kitchen, a living room, a sunroom, and more. Gone is the facility-like feel often found in more traditional nursing homes, and in its place is the feeling of living at home. It would take a thorough search of a Household to find the nurses station! No more med carts as medications are stored and distributed differently. No more food carts with plastic trays and food domes, as meals are plated and served directly out of the household kitchen straight to the dining table, with real dinnerware and flatware!
In addition to physical differences, the relationships between caregivers and residents more closely resembles family relationships. It’s a person-centered approach, and emphasizes interpersonal relationships and personal decision-making, rather than focusing only on a person’s healthcare needs. In the Household Model, residents can wake up when they want, eat when they want, participate in campus events as they choose, and carry on with their daily lives just as they would in their current house, with the additional benefits of nursing care.
Because the Household Model allows residents the freedom to continue the lifestyle they have lived all their lives, the transition between life at one’s own home and life at Fair Haven is made easier, with no pressure to fit into a structured schedule.
For more information on life at Fair Haven, including details on our how to make Fair Haven your or your loved one’s new home new home, please call our team at 205-956-4150.