Person-Directed Care Begins with Honoring Individual Preferences
We Encourage Residents to Make Choices About Their Care
Adults make hundreds of choices each day. Maintaining control over personal decisions remains important, especially as we age. That’s why United Church Homes promotes person-directed care within our communities. An older person is an adult first. Person-directed care honors that independence through an ongoing dialogue between residents and caregivers where the older adult exercises autonomy over choices affecting their life.
Decisions over schedules, such as when to wake, eat, bathe or go to bed, are based on personal preference instead of staff convenience. The goal of person-directed care is to promote dignity, respect, self-determination, choice and purposeful living.
It begins with individualized care plans developed for each resident, where every person’s lifestyle, medical needs and preferences are honored. That means care teams, residents and families all work together to meet the needs and goals appropriate for each resident.
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What are some benefits of person-directed care?
- Connecting with people as unique individuals
- Learning about each resident’s lifestyle, history and preferences
- Finding new methods to communicate, even nonverbally
- Identifying ways to anticipate needs
- Honoring each person’s ability to make choices
- Respecting those choices
- Treating every resident as a person, not a diagnosis
Leading the Way to Abundant Life for Older Adults
The phrase person-directed care reflects a shift within senior living from the previously used person-centered care. The goal of person-centered care focuses on individual needs and everyone working together to meet those needs. Person centered revolves around the person but isn’t necessarily directed by the person.
The person-directed model is driven by the resident, and encourages the resident to actually make those choices. Even if someone can’t speak, staff can honor routines and preferences based on what the family shares. What did that person like to eat? What was meaningful? Were they social, or did they prefer to be alone? What music did they like?
It all comes down to honoring each adult’s ability to make choices, which nurtures the human need to be included, active and participating in the world.