Regenerative Community: Evaluation Study

The Regenerative Community model, one of the landmarks of the Movement for Culture Change in long-term care institutions and community services, was developed by Barry Barkan in the United States. In 2010, a Regenerative Community program was implemented in Israel for the first time through a partnership between JDC-ESHEL, the National Insurance Institute and the Abraham and Sonia Rochlin Foundation. The main goal of the program is to bring about change in the relationships and patterns of communication between recipients of long-term services and their families with the staff, in order to engender a homelike atmosphere rather than that of a medical facility.

The program is currently implemented in approximately 100 departments at some 50 facilities – 30 nursing homes and 20 daycare centers – and includes 2,000 participants.

The goal of this study was to present a comprehensive picture of the implementation of the program and to examine its contribution to the participants and members of staff, to the relationships between them, and to the functioning of the facilities.

The study design combined qualitative and quantitative methods and included administrative data, in-depth interviews with professionals who were involved in the program, a survey of residents and participants, and a questionnaire to facilities where the program is implemented. The contribution of the program was examined by comparing participants and non-participants; it was also based on the perceptions of the participants of the contribution of the program to them.

The program participants report more than the non-participants that:

  • They have someone to turn to and they can make their voice heard.
  • They feel they belong to the group and there is a home-like atmosphere in the facility.
  • There are positive relationship with the staff and there are good relationships with other participants.

Approximately 80% reported the following contributions:

  • The program helps them to give expression to their wishes.
  • The program helps to create a home-like atmosphere.
  • The program contributes to their sense of belonging to the community and broader society.

Thus, the study findings indicate a positive contribution of the program to the participants. Furthermore, a number of significant lessons and suggestions to enhance the effective implementation of the program emerged from the findings.

The findings were presented to a forum of all the partners in the program and they form the basis for continued development and dissemination of the concept of culture change in long-term care services for the elderly in Israel.

The study was funded with the assistance of JDC-ESHEL and the Abraham and Sonia Rochlin Foundation