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“It’s A Lot!” The Universal Worker Model and Dementia Care in Assisted Living

Journal Article Person-Centered Care
January 1, 2021

One feature of the culture change movement in long-term care is the Universal Worker (UW) model where direct care workers are responsible for housekeeping, laundry, and activities in addition to providing personal assistance. This study compares data collected over 10 years from one assisted living community implementing culture change and the UW model.

Key Takeaways

This research found that the universal worker model became more difficult when caring for residents with dementia.
Universal workers found themselves under too much time pressure to complete all activities associated with their role.
Modifications to the model were needed to preserve the principles of culture change and person-centered care.

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