Embracing Person Centered Care


Posted by Kia Crawford on May 24th, 2012 in Eagles Landing, GA, Education | No Comments

Finding a place for your loved one could be difficult. It is a challenging process filled with emotion and confusion. Many people get overwhelmed. This is all understandable considering you are often looking for a place that will impact your  mother’s, father’s or grandparents quality of life. After all, this might have been the same person that ensured your quality of life, seemingly just a short time ago. We at Dogwood Forest Assisted Living in Stockbridge are certainly empathetic to this emotional challenge.  While the process can leave your head spinning with assisted living terminology, there is one phrase that you have probably heard and should definitely understand, “person centered-care.”

What is person centered care?

Person centered care comprise of a number of things when applied to assisted living. The person centered care model  is conducive to constant contact between staff members, doctors, residents and families to ensure the very best care is received, and all needs are appropriately met. It is a collaborative effort. The model should promote independence if possible, as well as free choice and control. The philosophy places the resident at the heart of all decisions made. They phrase itself implies that the person and their needs is primary focus. It is about building lasting relationships and partnerships for the benefit of the resident.

It might be surprising to those outside of the assisted living industry, but this philosophy can be a difficult balance. While we at Dogwood Forest Assisted Living in Stockbridge are experts in our field, families feel they know their loved ones much better than we ever could, which would be a reasonable assumption. However, as people age, they change which includes their needs. This is why it is imperative that people who have known the resident for some time, collaborate with experts such as the community staff, doctors and nurses to ensure the best care is received.  In order for the transition to be successful, collective involvement is necessary, but the most important of this collaborative effort is resident involvement. At its essence, person center care means the resident has a say in how they are cared for. Many residents are capable of making their own decisions in terms of their care at an assisted living community. We must preserve compassion, dignity and respect of all of our residents, and in doing so treating them like the adults that they are.

Person centered care also means that care is individualized care. People are different and have different needs. There should not be an over generalization when considering the care of our elders. At Dogwood Forest Assisted Living of Eagles Landing we understand the importance of treating everyone as individuals with their own specific needs. We fully embrace the person centered care model.

Ways you can encourage person centered care:

  • Avoid Ageism and Stereotypes- It is important that elder adults are treated as individuals regardless of age. We should not adhere to stereotypes concerning senior adults. The main focus should be the person‘s holistic needs only.
  • Preserve Dignity- There should be some sensitivity in this area. We want our residents to main as much independence as possible because we know that independence and dignity go hand and hand.
  • Continue Communication- Person centered care is an ongoing effort. Open dialogue is absolutely necessary to ensure success. This of course means dialogue with the person who is at the center of the matter. Its important that everyone stays involved.
  • Trust the Experts-Those who work in this industry have a passion for what they do. They love people and they love seniors. They are experts in the industry. Although, trusting those you have charged to care for your love one can be difficult, it is not impossible. The more you get involved and communicate with all parties involved, the more comfortable you will become with their expertise.  Continue to work and improve upon the partnerships and relationships you develop along the way.