Embracing Person-Centered Care

IMG_5316.JPGPerson-centered care is a term that is talked about at great lengths in the nursing home setting, but what does it truly mean, and how do you identify if a nursing facility is truly practicing person-centered care?

The not-for-profit organization Advancing Excellence in America’s Nursing Homes defines person-centered care as, “Person-centered care promotes choice, purpose and meaning in daily life. Person-centered care means that the nursing home residents are supported in achieving the level of physical, mental and psychosocial well-being that is individually practicable.”

The definition allows each nursing facility to interpret how this concept looks in each individual nursing facility. Ultimately, a resident in a facility that fully embraces person-center care would feel like they had the same freedom of choice that they had when they lived independently.

Key areas to identify a facilities level of person-centered care are:

  1. Dining
    • Does the facility have open dining times? Can residents choose what they are eating for each meal?
    • Are snacks available during non-meal times? Do residents have access to these snacks?
  2. Life Enrichment (daily activities)
    • Do the residents have a say in scheduled activities?
    • Are there life enrichment programs that satisfy intellectual, emotional, environmental, physical, professional, social and spiritual needs of the resident?
    • Are spontaneous resident-lead activities encouraged?
    • Does staff engage one-on-one with residents in activities that interest that particular resident?
    • Are families encouraged to participate in life enrichment functions as they would at home?
  3. Bathing
    • Do the residents control when they want to shower/bathe and how often?
    • Are the rooms for bathing relaxing, private and comfortable?
  4. Bedtime Schedules
    • Do residents get to decide when they go to bed, and when they wake up every day?
    • Do residents get to take naps/rest at times they prefer?

In a publication titled, Implementing Change in Long-Term Care – A Practical Guide to Transformation, the authors point out, “In a facility where they have fully integrated person-centered care, no decision is made without asking: “Has the resident (or residents) participated in this decision?” In most instances, for a fully person-centered care environment, the answer should be “YES!” or “No? Well, we’d better go talk with them!”.”

So when you are touring nursing facilities for skilled nursing, rehabilitation and/or long-term care, ask these questions of the staff. Really gage if the front line staff of that organization embraces person-centered care, or is it just a concept that is talked about, but not implement. To schedule a tour of The Welsh Home, and learn more about how our staff has embraced and continue to enhance our person-centered care, contact us today!