Person-centred care is the act of placing the person at the centre of their care. Seems obvious, doesn't it?
Unfortunately, it isn't obvious. In the past there have been other ways to deliver care to people in need, and while the intentions of the carers may have been very good, the care delivered may not always have been what the person wanted.Person-centred care is about providing care for someone in the way they want, taking into account their individual requirements and preferences.
What person-centred care means for the customer or client?
For an older person, person-centred care means getting the care they need for the problems they have, that is appropriate to their individual requirements.
It means a care manager will ensure they know exactly what the person needs, in relation to their medical ailments, and also in relation to their personal preferences.
In the simplest terms, person-centred care means getting the cup of tea they like with the right amount of milk. It means when their ornaments are dusted, none of them are broken. It means getting to choose what they wear, and nothing ever being assumed without asking. Put simply, if you don't ask you can't know, so it's best if carers ask first and make no assumptions at all about what the person prefers.
Person-centred care more importantly means being prompted to take their medication if they're forgetful. It means getting the type of wash they want in the morning; having a female care worker if that's what they prefer; and having the type of food they're used to and that they like, and what's more, getting the type of food that suits their culture best.
For example, if they are Muslim, they should only be offered meat that is halal and only meat they are comfortable eating. This can also mean meat that is easy for their teeth to manage, especially if they wear dentures. If they are used to a hot dinner in the evening, but a sandwich at lunch time, they should be able to have this. If they're not keen on vegetables, they'll be asked for a list of acceptable ones and will only be asked to eat those.
There are dozens of examples of person-centred care when it comes to caring for older people. If you want more information on how Sahan Cares applies person-centred care, please call us on 020 8848 1380 and ask us about it.
What person-centred care means for families?
When it comes to care for your loved older relatives, you probably want the best for them. The best is person-centred care. Whether or not you are present at any assessments or meetings with managers, you want to be sure your relative is getting the care they want as well as what they need, and this is more likely if the home care company you hire works in a person-centred way.
Sahan Cares focuses heavily on person-centred care, because we believe it is the only way to deliver care that is beneficial for all concerned. We know and understand that all people are individuals, and diverse at that. This means all our customers and clients come with their own preferences, wants, needs, and desires.
We can't fulfil every desire - we definitely draw the line at tandem bungee jumping or other risky business - but if it's care-related and important to the person, we like to think we can deliver it. Our carers are dedicated individuals who are prepared to go the extra mile to ensure complete satisfaction with our service.
What person-centred care means for carers
Person-centred care is really about caring for people in the way they want. Whether this means folding their clean clothes in a way they prefer, or ensuring they have the right amount of drinks and snacks available to keep them going all day, all these things are usually simple enough to carry out, and the amount of pleasure they give is worth any extra effort.
In most cases, all care will be detailed in a person's notes (and won't be 'extra effort' at all), and carers are expected to familiarise themselves with these.
If the person has a particular way of doing something, such as the type of clothes they wear on special days, or the way they like their meals to be laid out on the plate; if they prefer their dinner to be cut up so they can just use a fork to eat with; or if they have very particular ideas about how their bed should be made, carers should listen to these things and use empathy to understand why those things are requested.
What person-centred care means for home care companies
For home care companies, person-centred care means listening to the requirements of the person and the people around that person, and ensuring that any care delivered is in the style that is required.
It also means ensuring that important details are listed on care plans and in any other notes, and also making sure carers have read and understood all this paperwork.
The care company should have policies that state their commitment to person-centred care, and they and their employees should stick to these.
Person-centred care is of major importance to the people being cared for, so it should be very important to home care companies because it helps them deliver a better service to their customers. Older people have the right to state their preferences and to have their needs taken care of in a way that suits them best, and often anything else can be an infringement on their very basic human rights.
Hit us up with any person-centred care questions you might have, by tweeting us at @SahanCares!