Person Centred Care


Is very specific to people who live, either temporarily or permanently, in care homes and other long-stay residences.


Is about focusing care on the needs of the person rather than the needs of the service.

Person centred care is about developing a plan of care with people that fits with what that person is able to do. We also have to take into consideration and act on what people want when we plan and deliver their care.

shutterstock_61894663-1600pxWe cant always assume, however, that a person will tell us what he or she thinks or wants. There are many reasons why people may feel awkward about this, or they may live with a mental health condition, dementia or have a hearing impairment or may be confused.

So we may have to ask them what they want, using appropriate communication methods to encourage them to participate in their own care and the decision making process this entails.

Offering Person-centred support

To support them with this, we need to make sure they get information in a format that is understandable to them so they can make decisions about their care and treatment and to agree or disagree with the treatment plan that is developing.

Being person-centred means that when we plan care with the person, we think about the effect of what were doing on the person as a whole.

Think, for example, of a young female health care assistant planning to bathe an older man. The mechanics of the procedure are very straightforward  ensure the water temperature and depth are appropriate, ensure the bath hoist is working and is used properly, make sure the persons dignity is protected, end up with the person being clean and refreshed. The health care assistant is perfectly competent to ensure all these issues are addressed.

But what might the older man feel about being bathed by a young woman who might be no older than his own daughter, or even granddaughter?

Will it make him feel helpless, humiliated, useless? And does he want a bath in the first place? When we begin to think of the care we give in this way  of the effect of what we’re doing on the whole person we’re giving care in a person-centred way. And that might mean compromise the health care assistant might, for instance, negotiate with the man and agree that for today, a wash from a basin at the bedside or the bathroom will be sufficient.

Being person-centred means that we always have the persons safety, comfort and well-being uppermost in our mind.

There is much we can do to promote peoples safety, and we look at this in some detail in promoting patient safety. Ensuring people are comfortable calls for us to be aware of the things that can cause discomfort feeling cold or hot, having a thirst or being hungry, being in pain or having an itch, needing to go to the toilet or change a sitting position, for instance and taking steps to relieve them.

Having peoples well-being uppermost means that nothing we do  or dont do causes the person any physical, emotional or social harm.

Being person-centred means being aware of a personas emotional and spiritual well-being. Spiritual care is not just about religious beliefs and practices: it also reflects a persons values, relationships and need for self-expression.

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