At our care home Worcester, you will often here us refer to something called person-centered care. It's an ethos we follow which informs our care practices.
The Person-Centered Approach to care came from the work of the psychologist Dr. Carl Rogers. Originally an approach to psychotherapy and counselling, and one that at the time (1940s-1960s) was considered radical, Rogers' work soon became used as the guiding principles for a diverse range of relationship-based professions. It's been adopted into teaching, management, childcare, conflict resolution and patient care.
Rogers' work was originally described as non-directive and it moved away from the idea that the therapist (or professional) was the expert.
It extolled that people should feel free from threat, both physically and psychologically. Therapists should be deeply understanding (empathetic), accepting (having unconditional positive regard) and genuine (congruent). Person-centered care regards the people using health & social services as equal partners in any decision about their care. This is achieved by engaging people in the planning, developing and monitoring stages of care, to make sure it meets their needs.
It is also a guiding principle for Diversional Therapy, something else we practice at our Worcestershire care home.
Rogers' theory and work is very simple to describe. Yet, as many people would attest who use the approach, it can be very difficult to put into practice. That is because the approach does not use techniques but relies on the personal qualities of the person following the principles to build a non-judgmental and empathetic relationship.
Putting The Guiding Principles of the Person-Centered Care Approach Into Our Worcester Care Home Daily Work and Relationships
At our Worcester based care home, we take into consideration and act on what people want when we plan and deliver their care. We can’t always assume, that a person will tell us what he or she thinks or wants. And there are many reasons for this.
People may feel awkward about doing so, or they may live with a mental health condition, dementia or physical or learning disability that makes communication challenging.
If and when we have to ask someone what they want in relation to their care, it is our responsibility to make sure we use appropriate communication methods which actively encourage them to participate in the decision making process. That way, they are able to be a real partner in the decisions that are made.
To support them with this, we need to make sure they get information in a format that is acceptable to them to help them make decisions about their care and treatment and to agree – or disagree – with the treatment plan that is developing.
We will always negotiate with existing and potential residents to agree a plan that’s acceptable to them and the health care team. What guides our approach to a plan is what's best for the individual and their own priorities in life
Being person-centered means that when we plan care with the person, we think about the effect of what we’re doing on the person as a whole.
At its core, providing care in this way means we always keep the person's wishes, safety, comfort and well-being at the forefront of our minds with regards to any decisions that are taken.
Person-centered care is a key guiding principle which informs and improves all of our day-to-day work and relationships here at our care home in Worcester.
If you would like to know more about the care we provide at Stanfield Nursing Home, please feel free to discuss anything with us on 01905 420 459 or arrange to come and have a look around our home and gardens.
You may also like to read our previous blog on Stanfield House: Our Worcester Care Home History.