The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) defines person-centered care as a process that is normally directed by the resident, family or other intended to identify strengths, capacities, preferences, and needs. Wikipedia defines person-centered planning (PCP) as a set of approaches designed to assist someone to plan their life and supports. It is used most often as a life planning model to enable individuals with disabilities or otherwise requiring support to increase their personal self-determination and improve their own independence.
In long term care, specifically in the nursing care center, we care for a complex group of individuals. Acuity has been steadily on the rise in individuals with medical, behavioral, psycho-social and physical needs based on the gaps that their lack of wellness creates. In my experience, most residents who were able to discuss their needs, wants and hopes stated that, when asked about their acknowledged wishes and goals, they hoped to improve in their overall condition and wellness so they could increase their independence, continue various hobbies, attend their church or synagogue and return to or stay in their own homes. Typically, the goals were more personal rather than clinical in nature.
The development of person-centered care plans not only benefit the resident and the family/friends, they also support the staff.
Person-centered care benefits everyone
Person-centered care benefits residents by adding autonomy and increased ability to self-direct care and services. Resident choice fosters engagement and improves quality of life. Residents live in an environment of trust and respect. Residents are in a close relationship with staff who are attuned to their changes and can respond appropriately. Residents continue to live in a way that is meaningful to them as individuals.
Center staff become more comfortable caring for the people they know reflecting permanent team assignments. This makes staff more comfortable caring for people they know. You will see relationships between residents and staff and families and staff flourish.
Person-centered care benefits nursing centers
Quality outcomes for residents improve due to the ability of staff to identify and respond appropriately to changes in a resident’s conditions and/or wishes. Nursing centers gain referrals from people who have good experiences and recommend the nursing centers to others as a place for care. Staff retention is enhanced based on the relationships shared between the caregiver and resident.
Robin A. Bleier is President of RB Health Partners, Inc., a clinical risk, Medicare and operations firm that consults with FHCA on quality affairs. For more information, call Robin at (727) 744-2021 or email her at [email protected]