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What Is Person-Centered Home Care?

The term “person-centered care” might seem obvious—there is a person who needs care so they are the center of attention, right? When an individual seeks out help with a physical, mental, or emotional need, a professional looks at the symptoms and offers to help with medicine and expert advice. As symptoms improve, the person feels better and there is a resolution.

The concept of person-centered care is more complex though and it’s at the heart of Homewatch CareGivers training of caregivers and approach to maintaining the well-being of clients.

What Person Centered Care Means

A National Library of Medicine article by Angela Coulter and John Oldham focused on the definition of person-centered care and the importance of this mindset for those with the responsibility of helping another person. The article states: “Hippocrates said ‘it is more important to know what sort of person has a disease than to know what sort of disease a person has’. It is, therefore, surprising that we have only recently started to question the meaning of person-centred [sic] care and how treatment and care programmes [sic] could be tailored to meet the individual needs of patients and carers.”

These authors noted that when using a person-centered approach to care, it includes:

  • Treating people as individuals and equal partners in their healing
  • Personalization of care
  • Recognition that there is often a need for more than one person to fulfill optimum care
  • Recognition of someone’s capabilities and potential (rather than treating someone as a victim of a disease or passive care recipient)

When someone is overly cared for, without being permitted or encouraged to give input, it can have a detrimental effect on their attitude and wellbeing.

What Are the Benefits of Person-Centered Home Care?

At its best, person-centered home care has benefits for the individual and their family or other loved ones because the person who requires support is going to feel empowered. The key is to put the relationship at the center of the care, not the task(s) being performed as part of the caregiving.

No matter what type of care is needed, the person-centered approach can be applied.

There are many examples of person centered care to illustrate how life-changing this approach can be to people who are in need of on-going support. Listen to this story from renowned dementia expert Dr. G. Allen Power about how one family member was making assumptions that didn’t allow for a woman who was living with dementia to thrive at home. When someone is just looking at the tasks, they can overlook the person and their human preferences unique to them that bring them joy and feelings of connectedness.

One study published on Frontiers in Public Health found that “PCC has been shown to improve healthcare outcomes for a variety of chronic diseases, including depression and anxiety disorder, cardiovascular risk management, diabetes, and addictive behavior. The benefits of PCC include improved patient engagement, which can lead to better treatment outcomes and lower costs.”

The importance of person centered care is clear when looking at the wellbeing of the individual as well as the systems that support them. Homewatch CareGivers Total Care Solutions™ was designed to address the needs of the individual throughout their care journey—whether that is high need to low or no need, such as after a surgery or hospital stay as they recuperate and regain independence, or increasing need with a progressive illness such as dementia or Parkinson’s. A person centered care plan is created with the family of the individual (if they are engaged in care too), the individual, and the professional care team, so that changes are monitored and addressed in the plan.

Homewatch CareGivers and Person-Centered Home Care

If you or someone you know could benefit from person-centered care in the comfort of home, call 888-404-5191 or go to the Contact Us page on the website. Learn more about home care services—elder care, respite care, and more—today.

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