“The goal of person-centred care is to move the person, even momentarily, from loss to fulfilment, loneliness to connectedness, sadness to cheerfulness… ”
A Person-Centred Care Management Approach
We address the concerns of people living with dementia by applying a person-centred approach. This enables us to look into ourselves and acknowledge that we do not have the right to thrust our personal choices onto another. This negates the importance of another person's human rights, stripping them of personhood and the place they hold in the world.
It isn’t just the condition that precipitates people living with dementia losing hold of their personhood, it is our attitude.
The Gold Standard of Care
Be kind and bring happiness to every moment of every day. Be the shining light that enhances a life and help to retains that sparkle.
Key Aspects of Person-Centred Care:
- focus on the value of each individual, respecting their uniqueness and involve them in decisions that impact them
- provide problem-solving strategies reducing the need for medication - heal the past and improve the present by fostering interpersonal relationships
- draw on the strengths of the caregiver and the care receiver
- ensure the person’s needs are the highest priority, not only their physical needs but all needs within the holistic framework of care. By providing the highest quality of care we must respect the resident’s wishes and respect their values, choices and beliefs
As caregivers, we enter the person’s reality and have the rare opportunity to see life through their eyes. With compassion and empathy, understanding and creativity, we can cross the threshold into an incredible journey with this person. We can provide companionship in a world where they would otherwise be alone.
The 4 Pillars of Person-Centred Care:
We must acknowledge that regardless of any medical condition, all people are unique
Humans are complex beings and many factors influence the way we see and respond to the world around us. We should always consider the level/type of dementia, personality, life story, physical health status, social life etc.
It is all too easy for us to focus on the disability and loss associated with cognitive decline and age. We should ensure that there are opportunities for all people to utilise their strengths and abilities.
Person-centred care is about more than the way we interact with a person. It also recognises the personhood of all people.
We need to remind ourselves that our objectives, procedures, priorities, and routines are not always those of the people we care for. Elimination of rights can be alarming, create distress and agitation, leaving a person with no sense of comfort or security. Advocating a solution and providing a supportive community may be the catalyst to our population living with dementia, and their caregivers, becoming well informed, thus living life with a greater sense of wellbeing.
My suggestion is we make a concerted effort to be more aware of how a person who lives with dementia perceives our attitude towards them. Let us be the change.
Featured Guest Writer