It’s generally accepted in the senior living space that Person-Centered Care (PCC) is an important facet in improving the lives of staff and seniors as well as raising the standards of the industry as a whole. But there are discrepancies between acknowledging the importance of PCC and implementing some of its practices into our communities. In this week’s blog post, we’ll look at how to implement Person-Centered Care into our communities.
One of the quickest and easiest methods for pushing your community toward more personalized care is to shift the outlook on residents from patients to people. This means considering each resident’s entire life story as a vital piece of what makes them who they are today. To contrast this, patient care is a rather truncated view of each person, looking at what is currently ailing them to fix it as quickly as possible.
This shift in perspective can also open up opportunities for insights that may be looked over otherwise. Trying to understand resident behavior at face value can prove to be difficult, as it is with anyone. But diving a bit deeper into personal history can help your staff understand why some of the out-of-the-ordinary behaviors exist.
The Little Things Matter
Similarly to shifting our mindsets, getting to know the intricacies of your resident’s lives can help your staff make decisions on how to best offer them the care that they need. Knowing a resident’s favorite food seems like such a trivial and insignificant tidbit of information, but if you have someone you're caring for in memory care who refuses food, knowing which foods they like or what food their mothers cooked growing up could help resolve their eating issues.
Even with residents who are mostly autonomous, having access to and being able to recall small things about them can help make them feel heard, that they have the support there if they need it. Mental health is just as important as physical health, and letting your residents know that they’re seen can help to bolster morale. Sometimes the little things can help in a tremendous way.
Easier Methods for Long-term Results
One of the biggest hurdles the senior living industry faces when trying to focus more on personal care lies in how to implement these methods on a large scale, while also maintaining sustainability. Caregivers have a finite amount of time and energy to allocate to each resident, which makes personal care for every person a challenge. The answer lies in the newer systems and technology we can implement into our communities to make Person-Centered Care easier, thus making is a more long-term solution.
TSOLife’s Co-Founder and COO, Stella Parris, weighs in: "It's unrealistic for every single staff member to have an extended sit down conversation with every single resident right at move-in. So if you can get one person to have that conversation, but allow all staff to read, listen, share, and enjoy the information, it becomes possible for staff to get to know each resident to some degree."
Without implementing newer systems and tech, the industry as a whole won’t be able to achieve the best results when it comes to Person-Centered Care. Additionally, passing up opportunities for easier PCC will only perpetuate the cycle of caregiver burnout, staff turnover, and ultimately lower standards for the care for our seniors.
Of course, there are a number of ways to apply more personal methods into your community, but it’s important to employ a forward thinking mindset to help make Person-Centered Care an effective, long-term solution. Start with the ways you can start applying to your community today and go from there. We’re all in the business of improving the lives of our staff and seniors, so let’s help each other get there a little faster.