Person-centered care has become a common term in the long-term care field. CMS regulations and guidelines more and more mention the importance of person-centered care. It is often the topic of lectures at most senior living conferences. Many providers say they are doing person-centered care. Many use it as a platform for advertising.
At a recent conference in Louisiana, person-centered care was on everyone’s mind and the major topic of conversation.
Researchers, health care workers, social and activity directors gathered to discuss current topics in senior care. Person-centered care was the major topic at the LEADER conference this year.
Leader (Louisiana Enhancing Aging with Dignity through Empowerment and Respect) is an organization “committed to helping providers, consumers, regulators and policymakers move toward providing person-center care to Louisiana elders in every healthcare setting.”
Every year members come together to share ideas. This year the conference’s main speaker was Karen Stobbe. Karen speaks about caring for dementia and assisted with the development of the training material series “Hand in Hand.” We have had the great fortune to hear Karen speak at our culture change symposium in 2014. Each time Karen speaks, everyone hears the message of person-centered care.
What does person-centered care mean to us? Are we getting close to having our nursing homes provide true person-centered care? These are questions that are being asked all over the United States. Now that we are focused on dementia and medication, and as our population becomes older, these are very important questions to continue asking ourselves.
Now more and more regulatory agencies and senior advocate groups are looking at other areas in our nursing homes, not just nursing care. Activity and socialization are now seen as important factors in the quality of life. We ask, “Are these areas being addressed?”
Activities that are offered in our senior living homes are being scrutinized for meaning. Do we know what our residents really like? We know we try to return our residents to a maximum level of health, but do we try to return their social, activity level to a maximum level of participation?
Do we look at who likes to read in his or her room, and who truly is the social butterfly? Or is this information just gathered for documenting a plan of care – a piece of paper for compliance.
Enhanced activities and the reduction of anti-psychotics took prominent place on the leader agenda this year. For many of the attendees, person-centered care was about activities, socialization and dementia care based on new knowledge. There are many resources for information on how to bring person-centered care to our senior living homes. Homes that are making changes are often the best resource. Take a look at some of the information and contacts from around the country:
www.in-themoment.com/ Karen Stobbe
And at home in Arkansas: