About Centered Care
I have a right to:
- Make decisions
- Have an individual plan
- Be included on the planning team
- Have my hopes, dreams and goals be central to my plan
Person-centered care is a relationship-based approach to nursing home care that honors and respects the voice of elders and those working closest with them. It involves a continuing process of listening, trying new things, seeing how they work, and changing things in an effort to individualize care and de-institutionalize the nursing home environment.
Person-centered care is not about more forms, more lists, more reporting, or more work. It is about finding a decent and kind way to serve older adults that makes their lives and the lives of their caregivers more meaningful, a common-sense approach to bringing care back into caregiving at the nursing home and enriching the lives of those that live live and work there.
Principles and values of person-centered care
- Every person has strengths, gifts, and contributions to offer.
- Every person has hopes, dreams and desires.
- Each person is the primary authority on his or her life, along with those who them.
- Every person has the ability to express preferences and to make choices.
- A person's choices and preferences shall always be considered.
Respecting the person
Nursing homes that strive to provide person-centered care find ways to bring respect and dignity to every person and enrich their lives.
Everyone has strengths, gifts, and something valuable to contribute to their community. For example, Frank delivered the U.S. mail to three counties, rain or shine, for nearly forty years. Today he brings newpapers to residents in his nursing home neighborhood with a smile.
After all, when does a person stop having hopes, dreams, and desires? Sometimes, challenges such as memory problems or serious illness impair our ability to communicate, but our simple pleasures are still there. They may be discovered through observation or a conversation where we take the time to really listen. For many elders, simple pleasures usually include activities like going to church, eating out on occasion, and visiting with family members.
A place where residents make decisions
Flexible plans allow for choice and spontaneity. Delivery of medications, meal times, and activities should be scheduled according to the needs and desires of residents, rather than strict adherence to programmed timetables.
A caring and responsive staff
Create a workforce of individuals who know their residents intimately and care for them like family. A certain amount of flexibility enhances your staff's ability to provide optimal care. For example, pair up groups of residents with teams of caregivers. This type of consistent staffing allows staff members to really get to know their residents, to take ownership of the residents' care plans, and to work as a team.
A home away from home
Many nursing homes make structural and cosmetic changes to create resident neighborhoods or to make bathing a luxurious experience. Look around your nursing home. Does it look like a home away from home?
Common change ideas
You can start anywhere to effect change in the culture and the approach to caregiving in your nursing home. Most nursing homes begin by making changes in one of the following areas: care practices, workplace practices, and the physical environment.
Below are a few examples:
- Consistent staff assignment: Encourage relationships between staff and residents by assigning staff members to a consistent group of residents.
- Bathing: Institute flexible bathing schedules and make inexpensive cosmetic changes to add luxury, privacy, and comfort to the experience.
- Dining: Create a flexible dining experience for your residents so they can live and eat on their own schedule and make their own choices.
- New hire: Get staff members off on the right foot by providing them with standardized orientation, a peer mentor, and an on-the-job support system.
- Sleeping/waking: Reorganize priorities and work functions to allow residents to go to sleep and wake up when they want to.
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