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A New Philosophy of Service
Across its system, Asbury is purposefully changing mindsets by embracing the principles of the Planetree philosophy. Through associate trainings, retreats and ongoing interactions, Asbury reinforces a message that residents’ wishes and choices are respected and honored throughout their lives at Asbury.
In this effort, Asbury is helping to lead the way in replacing traditional approaches to providing services in health-care neighborhoods. One significant example: residents of Asbury’s skilled nursing neighborhoods typically face little to no restriction of their diets. Residents choose from menu items at every meal.
Planetree training encompasses changes not only in traditional attitudes about delivery of care, but of the language around those services. Associates trained as Planetree facilitators hold bi-monthly retreats with staff members to explore how they can further incorporate Planetree’s philosophy into their communities, view policies and services through residents’ lenses and work on strengthening teamwork and a sense of shared responsibility in the workplace.
Each community has created a Planetree Steering Committee where associates and residents meet to focus on expanding or improving the quality of services. Already, great strides have been made in creating additional choice and flexibility for residents of health-care neighborhoods and their family members.
What’s a Planetree?
Planetree is named for the tree under which Hippocrates – the father of Western medicine – taught students. It was founded in 1978 by Angelica Thieriot, who used her experience battling a viral infection to develop a system where hospital patients would be treated as people rather than diagnoses and were informed participants in the care process. Since its inception, the model has expanded into retirement communities, as well. Philosophical beliefs include:
- that we are human beings caring for other human beings
- we are all caregivers
- care giving is best achieved through kindness and compassion
- the opportunity to make personal choices related to your care is essential
- in a holistic approach to meeting people’s needs of body, mind and spirit