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An elderly man in a wheelchair between two affectionate carers.

Have you heard the term, “person centred care”? It’s a term often used when talking about aged care, but what does it really mean?

What is Person Centred Care?

In short, person centred care puts the emphasis on the person receiving care. One way of understanding what person centred care means is to understand how it differs from other models of care.

Suppose for instance that the people providing you with care saw you only in terms of your medical condition, the tasks that needed to be completed, or the most time effective way of completing those tasks. While these approaches might have some benefits, it’s possible that the care provided would be best tailored to meet your individual needs at the time.

Person centred care, by contrast, looks at you as a whole person – someone with likes and dislikes, interests, preferences someone with a life a story and needs which can change from day to day.

What are the Benefits of Person Centred Care?

A person centred approach to care has been shown to be the most effective way of meeting peoples individual needs. Particularly in the context of aged care at home. Getting to know each person’s unique living needs makes possible tailored care to meet these needs. Understanding a person’s social, medical and psychological situation is a part of this.

Person centred care respects peoples choices and encourages independence. While you may be at a time in life where you need a little support, there will no doubt be many be areas in your life where you or your nominated  where you will naturally remain independent and continue making your own choices, your own decisions around your daily activities. Person centred care maintains a person’s dignity acknowledging your rights to live your lives your way.

A person centred approach to care delivery:

  • Recognises peoples cultural and social diversity.
  • Values how understanding a person’s existing social network, preferred language, spirituality and/or religious belief will enhance individualising every person’s care.

What Does Person Centred Care Look Like in Practice?

Providers of aged care services might take a number of different approaches to delivering person centred care but there are some things you should keep a look out for:

  • Does the provider take the time to get to know you, your situation, and other people who may be providing you with care?
  • Has the provider asked you what your preferences are with respect to the delivery of care? They may, for example, have asked you what time or day you would like to receive care, or they may have asked if you would prefer a male or female carer.
  • Are you able to make choices about the care you receive? Have you been informed about the options available to you and are you able to make decisions about those choices?

These are just some of the hallmarks of person-centred care. If your provider of care is committed to the principle of person centred care, you will no doubt see it in the way the staff and carers communicate with you – as a person with a life story, individual likes and dislikes, needs and preferences.

What Does Person Centred Care Have to Do with Customer Directed Care?

Consumer directed care sees the person receiving the care as a consumer or client who has the capacity to make choices and decisions about the care and services they receive as well as who provides that care. Essentially it aims to give the person receiving care more control over the care they receive and how it is delivered.

Consumer directed care and person centred care are similar in that they both aim to empower the person receiving care to maintain their independence.

If you would like to know more about person centred care, consumer directed care or how you can maintain your independence at home as you age, contact the friendly and helpful team at Bannister In Home Care online or give us a call on 1300 368 991.