As the National Institute of Health aptly notes, “Healthcare does not happen in a vacuum.” Nothing could be truer. Yet, historically care methodologies have taken a biomedical approach, rather than one that considers the whole person within the context of care.
About a decade ago, however, we began to hear the phrase person-centered care used more frequently than in years before. And yet, the concept actually traces back to the 1950s. Carl Rogers, the world-renowned psychologist and researcher coined the phrase as central to his therapeutic approach. Of course, in his case the reference point was that of a psychotherapist and client. As reference in the The Association for the Development of Person-Centered Approach Rogers described the benefits of person-centered therapy as “when the counselor was able to genuinely accept the client in the moment, and to enter into the client’s frame of reference and convey and empathetic understanding to the client in an accepting manner, therapy became increasingly powerful and effective.”
How person-centered care is delivered will differ depending upon the setting and the needs of the individual. In memory care settings the tenets of person-centered care are defined by the Alzheimer’s Association as the following:
- Value and respect the individual as a full member of society.
- Provide individualized emotional and physical spaces for care that are aligned with a person’s changing needs.
- Understand the perspective of the individual in all care and activities.
- Provide supportive opportunities for social engagement to help people experience well-being as they live their life.
Person-centered care is also recognized as care that reflects the diversity of the population. We’ve paraphrased a few key points, as defined by the World Health Organization:
- Equitable access for everyone, everywhere, serving their needs when they have them.
- Safe, effective and timely care that responds to people’s comprehensive needs.
- Care that is coordinated around people’s needs and respects their preferences, allowing them to participate in health affairs.
- Efficient care that is provided in the most cost-effective settings.
- Strengthening the capacity of healthcare workers, institutions, and populations.
Our Anthem Memory Care communities embrace the person-centered care philosophy. It is central to our mission to “protect, engage, and love”. We believe that by knowing a resident fully our team can deliver care that centers around them as individuals and meets them where they are in their health journey, helping them to live their best life for as long as possible.