Imagine you are walking into your home after returning from a long day away. All you want to do is sit down on the couch and watch a little television. Or perhaps your way of relaxing is to cook a nice meal or maybe just lie down. Those are the things that make us comfortable, that makes me crave being at home. No one is telling me what to do or how to behave. However, those are the exact reasons we fear moving into a healthcare community. We want our independence and we want to know we still matter.
The time comes when we can’t do it alone and need help, healthcare communities exist to provide that help. However, we don’t want to lose our autonomy just because we need a little more help. This is where Person-Centered Care comes into play.
Person-Centered Care focuses on the person before the task. In doing so the individual’s past and present lifestyle preferences are an important part of the care they receive. This approach allows individuals to no longer be viewed as a passive participant in their own life. The individual drives the care they receive based on what is important to THEM. Once we know we can keep those important things, we feel more comfortable and eventually moving into an assisted living isn’t so bad.
Care partners and the resident can’t do it alone. The saying “it takes a village” is all too true in this philosophical approach to care. The village is made up of many individuals to include: the person, the care partners, the family, the friends/neighbors, and anyone else that matters to the individual. Together the “village” works to ensure the individual’s care is personalized to fit THEIR specific need and preferences. These supporting roles have valuable feedback to the care partners on how to provide care to their loved one.
The Person-Centered Care approach ensures autonomy, which in turn improves the quality of life. Quality of life drives our happiness, therefore when the individual is happy the care partner’s quality of life improves too.