Acre Woods Retirement Community Case Study
Acre Woods is a private retirement community with 275 senior residents. Its mission is to improve the quality of life of its residents through physical and emotional care. Sarah Armstrong, Acre Woods' resident physical therapist, manages the retirement community's activity program. Recently, Acre Woods added a pool to its rehabilitation center to facilitate resident exercise and aquatic therapy. The residents' monthly rent was raised to help finance the pool.
After the pool was constructed, Sarah immediately contacted the director of Acre Woods, Mark Adams, with concerns that the pool did not meet some important specifications that were included in the original design, including non-slip treads on the stairs and improved wheelchair access to the pool area. Mark advised Sarah that the residents would be happy to have a pool, even if it didn't contain all the requested special features. When Sarah asked why the new ramp and stair treads were not provided when they were included in the budget, the director remarked that Sarah's job was to provide physical therapy, not to worry about the budget.
Over the next month, four Acre Woods residents had minor falls using the pool stairs. While the accidents weren't serious, other residents began to express fears about using the pool. Sarah contacted Mark again to relate resident complaints and to stress the need for pool accessibility and safety improvements. Mark informed Sarah that she was the only member of Acre Woods staff that was complaining or concerned about the pool; therefore, there was no issue. Mark stated that he had a report from another Acre Woods physical therapist, Gene Levy, reporting that residents enjoy the pool and that it has expanded opportunities for physical therapy. Sarah asked Mark to tour the facility in person to assess the situation, but Mark expressed that he was too busy to visit Acre Woods until the next quarter.
Two weeks later, Mark promoted Gene to health care administrator of Acre Woods. Gene took over Sarah's activity program duties and re-assigned her to the assisted living unit. Concerned about Acre Woods' ability to live up to its mission and suspicious about the missing funds from the pool project, Sarah contacted the local newspaper and "blew the whistle" on the director's response to her complaints.
Answer the following problems:
1. What are some potential legal and ethical issues present in the case study?
2. How would you characterize the behavior being promoted by the director? I would characterize the director's behavior as being arrogant. He does not want anyone to tell him what to do even if he is wrong. He had the right idea by purchasing a pool to improve the quality of life for his residents. However he did not take the proper precautions to ensure the safety of the residents.
3. Is the director an ethical role model, why or why not? No the director is not an ethical role model because he does not care about the patient's safety. In addition, he decided to cover the cost of the pool by raising the residents monthly rent to install a pool that is unsafe for most of the elderly residents.
4. Were the director's messages congruent with the organization's stated mission? describe your answer. No his message was congruent with the stated mission because by installing a pool that is dangerous for the residents contradicts the facilities mission statement to improve quality life.
5. What impact did the director's actions and attitudes have on Acre Woods' culture? The directors actions and attitude made an negative culture for the facility.