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In 2016, the American Geriatrics Society defined a new approach called “person centered care,” which involves finding out what’s important to the individual and basing a plan of care on that.

“Person-centered care means that individuals’ values are elicited and, once expressed, guide all aspects of their health care, supporting their realistic health and life goals. Person-centered care is achieved through a dynamic relationship among individuals, and others who are important to them [such as family], and all relevant providers. This collaboration informs decision making to the extent that the individual desires.”

Does this mean that seniors have been getting poor care all along? Not at all. Most care is very capably and lovingly given by health care professionals who humbly dedicate their lives to caring for others. What it does mean, though, is that there’s more to caring for seniors than delivering a regimen of care dictated by medical evidence, best practices, and organizational policy.

Long-term care facilities have expanded their amenities tremendously; it’s not at all unusual to find coffee shops, pool tables, movie theaters, and even lounges for happy hour within long-term care facilities. But, according to Alexis Coulourides Kogan, a postdoctoral researcher at the Keck School of Medicine, these amenities are aimed at satisfying groups of customers, not individuals.

Tasks and protocols often get in the way of person-centered care.

An aide may be assigned 20 residents to care for on a hall in a long-term care facility. Residents may be able to dress themselves, but they need stand-by assistance in case they need a bit of help. And they’re slow in dressing. And there are nineteen other residents waiting for assistance. What do you think happens? Of course the aide, hopefully in a polite manner, offers to and in effect does the actual dressing.

Since 2009, years before it became an industry buzzword, Senior Insights has been specializing in person-centered care: Assessed, coordinated care planning tailored to each individual’s needs and desires. Before recommending any care at all, we conduct a detailed assessment that covers not only physical, psychosocial and mental status, but also abilities and desires. Each plan is based on an individual’s unique needs, and nothing else.

Why not discuss your individual needs with us in a free 30-minute consultation . It can make the difference between care based on tasks and care that’s truly patient-centered.