Creating a Person-Centered Care Facility

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Donna Mae Scheib

Creating a Person-Centered Care Facility

Posted by Donna Mae Scheib on March 07, 2018

Creating a Person-Centered Care Facility

The terms ‘nursing home’ and ‘assisted living’ can generate many different viewpoints and perceptions to seniors and families looking for help with long-term care options. Some may see it as a financial burden, necessary for medical assistance, or even as a last resort to worn out family caregivers. Those that are directly involved with an assisted living facility know about all the hard work it takes to keep everything going in a positive and productive manner for both staff and residents alike. Using a person-centered care approach can help to enhance the quality of care provided as well as generate a positive perception of your assisted living facility to both current and future senior residents and their families.

What is Person-Centered Care?

According to the National Nursing Home Quality Campaign, person-centered care is a way to support nursing home residents to practical and achievable goals relating to physical, mental, and psychosocial well-being. This helps for individualized planning for senior’s care where staff members can provide care while continuously being aware of any changes that would make it necessary to adjust an individual’s goal. For example, if a senior was diagnosed with an early stage of dementia and was independently capable of various skills for a period before the disease progressed, care providers who are actively listening, watching, and making accurate daily notes of this individual can accordingly adjust the plan of care when further assistance becomes necessary. In this example, person-centered care can also be a way to avoid learned helplessness that can be acquired in a nursing home setting. Intervention only becomes used when a person is no longer capable of completing the skill or activity such as getting dressed or taking a bath. The person-centered care approach has been a cultural movement that has gained support in the past thirty years due to the desire to improve senior living.

What are the key values and principles incorporated into the movement? 

     • Resident-lead Care

     • Promotion of a home environment

     • Fostering resident and staff relationships

     • Staff support and empowerment

     • Collaborative decision making that includes insight of nursing aides to top management

     • Continual quality improvements

How does Person-Centered Care Benefit Senior Residents?

     • Helps to avoid learned helplessness

     • Grants autonomy and promotes confidence in a safe environment

     • Seniors build trust and respect for their caretakers

     • Personal care helps a nursing home feel like home rather than an institution

     • Being treated with dignity as a human person helps seniors continue to live a meaningful life

Why is It Important to Include Person-Centered Care for your Assisted Living Business?

As senior living continues to expand and evolve, keeping a competitive edge in the assisted living market includes providing quality and meaningful care for your residents. It is necessary to see this approach financially as a long-term investment rather than a short-term because building your name takes time and effort. Your staff can benefit from the person-centered approach as well because they are able to make autonomous and meaningful decisions that can positively impact the care of residents.

Person-centered care always has room for improvement. Here are a few questions to start with to help start or continue quality care for your residents:

How are we communicating with residents and their families?

     • Is it easy for residents to communicate requests or preferences?

     • What ways of communication are offered and how often is it checked?

Do our facilities restrict a certain level of personal care?

     • What is the design of our facility and does it look like a hospital or a home?

     • Is it easy to access a common room area such as an activity center or dining facility?

What education is in place for seniors and staff?

     • Do staff receive continuous education in various physical, mental, and psychosocial wellbeing within the study of gerontology?

     • Do seniors and their families have access to our policies and information about our person-centered care approach?

Contact Senior Living Link to learn more about being connected to quality senior living care facilities!