Free
Research Article  |   August 1991
The Lazarus Project: The Politics of Empowerment
Author Affiliations
  • Nancy Kari, MPH, OTR, is Associate Professor, Occupational Therapy, College of St. Catherine, St. Paul, Minnesota 55105
  • Peg Michels, MA, is Associate Director, Project Public Life, Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota
Article Information
Practice
Research Article   |   August 1991
The Lazarus Project: The Politics of Empowerment
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, August 1991, Vol. 45, 719-725. doi:10.5014/ajot.45.8.719
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, August 1991, Vol. 45, 719-725. doi:10.5014/ajot.45.8.719
Abstract

The problems associated with institutionalized care of the frail elderly are complicated and require interdisciplinary problem solving. This paper explains the conceptual framework and initial implementation of the Lazarus Project, a pilot project in a nursing home that offers an alternative governing philosophy for residential living. The framework is a community model based on democratic governance, which empowers those who work and live within the nursing home facility. Implementing a community model in an institution is a political process that requires an awareness of power relationships and structures. Strategies for institutional change are directed at alteration of the hierarchical power structures so that power is shared and decision making collaborative.