Person Centred Care

Nicole Brooke - Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Person Centred Care

For many years, the healthcare sector has been chanting about their amazing 'person centred care' philosophy of care, but really how far have we come? Honestly .... not far.  Person centred care originated with Kitwood (1992) whereby a person who had a diagnosis of dementia would be supported with an individualised approach to care that considered the root issue behind behaviours, then a plan that supported the minimisation or ideally the elimination of the behaviour of the issues it resulted in.  We have taken a journey through many models of care across many sectors of health, but as a result is all that we have is care plans, budgeting of how a person wants to use their money and some more advocacy.  We are in reality still showering most people in the morning, toilet second hourly, and feed everyone at the same times (I realise it is more efficient and cost effective especially if consider the above).  Additionally, what does person centred care mean day to day for staff? Its got to be more than individualised care plans and small group focused activities.

My belief it is that the new way forward is Mindfulness in Care.  It is about teaching staff to make each moment more meaningful.  From:

  • Assessment - mindfully being aware of really assessing the  needs of the resident (what you can see, hear, feel, smell) and working to understand the real issues and priorities for a resident;
  • Activities - mindfully planning and engaging with residents not in large groups but small and purposeful activities that they want to undertake or find inspiration in;
  • Activities of Daily Living - mindfully undertaking these at a time and in a way that may be quick and efficient but really focuses conversation on a topic the residents want to engage, at a time they want and with choices that are appropriate.
  • Leadership- mindfully exploring the real needs and expectations of ones residents and the community to meet their needs as a point of difference.  By mindfully supporting other staff there is a shift in how we engage and respect colleagues and enhance their development.
  • Development - Teaching staff to stop and take note (and heel themselves in the journey) of where they are at.  Helping them to support their learning needs and become more mindful of their life in order to better meet the needs of their residents.  Less training focused on skills but on mentoring and development of ones inner health and well being in order to serve and support their residents.
  • Spiritual - Making each moment more meaningful for each person we care for.  

You and I have, hopefully, more than 2000 Wednesdays to experience and many moments on each day, but our residents may only have a few Wednesdays and even less moments to enjoy.  Mindfulness is about making each moment more meaningful and richer for the experience you have helped create. Holding hands, sharing a look, celebrating each achievement and stopping to reflect on a moment is all a part of mindfulness.  


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Anonymous commented on 21-May-2016 04:58 PM
Your words resonate Kitwood would i think be embarrassed in the manner in which a concept he was so passionate about has been diluted and disenfranchised. Mindfulness in care is his vision reinterpreted. Love it

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