At Athena Care Homes Limited, we understand the importance of ensuring a person living with dementia can still live a happy and fulfilled life. That’s why we favour a person-centred approach to the care of each and every one of our residents. Here we explain the principles of person-centred care and why the approach is crucial to promoting mutual respect and independence between our staff and residents.
Person-centred care refers to a way of thinking that sees people receiving care from health and social services as equal partners in the planning, developing and monitoring of their care. This means putting patients and their families at the centre of decisions, working alongside professionals to provide the best service possible.
A person-centred approach to dementia care prioritises the desires and overall wellbeing of our residents. The key principles of a person-centred approach include understanding the human value of people living with dementia, the individuality of people living with dementia, the importance of their perspective and the importance of encouraging relationships and positive interactions with others.
Section 24 and 25 of the Care Act 2014 here, outline that individuals should be in control of their support and should be actively involved in influencing the type of care they receive. National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) guidelines here, state that decisions about a person should not be made without their involvement and professionals should avoid the use of jargon when planning with a person to ensure they have a good understanding of their care plan.
At Athena Care Homes Limited, we encourage our residents to decorate their rooms as they wish, creating a safe, homely environment unique to them. We invite individuals to fill their space with sentimental items such as photographs, jewellery, personal hobbies and family knick-knacks, allowing their personality to shine through. By choosing to follow a person-centred approach to dementia care, we provide a sense of comfort to our residents, while also making every moment matter and supporting their long established hobbies and interests.
Our person-centred care plan enables us to cater the work we carry out on a daily-basis to the unique needs of our residents. This could be as simple as knowing which residents like a cup of tea before bed, or as complex understanding their emotional triggers.
The term person-centred approach was developed by Carl Rogers in 1951 to describe a focus on individual personal experience as the basis and standard for living. The phrase was then first used in regard to dementia care by UK Professor Thomas Kitwood in the 1980’s. Kitwood’s approach to care provided staff with a way of thinking about what they were doing according to principles that supported people with dementia in a new way. His approach now underpins the majority of dementia care practices.
According to verywell health here, a 2017 review of 19 studies which included 3,985 participants was undertaken to determine the effectiveness of a person-centred approach to caring for people with dementia. The results concluded that quality of life was improved through the practising of person-centred care in long-term care facilities, with agitation, emotional symptoms and depression all reducing.
Adopting a person-centred approach to dementia care has a positive impact on both the resident receiving care and the professional providing care to the individual.
For the resident receiving care, some of the benefits include being able to make decisions and have input into their treatment plan, have responsibility over their own care decisions, becoming more aware of their health and engaged in their own wellbeing, having less reliance on health services, allowing individuals to remain independent for longer and feeling less anxious about what the future may hold.
For caregivers, some of the benefits of promoting a person-centred approach to dementia care include feeling a greater sense of accomplishment from knowing residents are happy and healthy and working in a more positive, supportive environment.
At Athena Care Homes, family values are at our very core, we know how important it is for both our staff and residents to feel appreciated, valued and respected and we pride our homes on just how warm and welcoming of an environment each of them are. Our specialist staff are just as passionate about enhancing the quality of life of our residents as we are, carrying out ongoing dementia care training to ensure they have a firm understanding of the various types of dementia and how they can affect a person’s experiences.
If you would like to learn more about the person-centred approach to dementia care, including how we implement its key principles into the treatment of our residents, please do get in touch with one of our friendly team at your local Athena Care Home who will be happy to discuss the topic with you in further detail.