Addressing a Person Centered Approach In Your Aged Care Facility.

September 14, 2020

Need To Address The Person Centered Approach In Your Aged Care Facility?

Implementing the new aged care quality standards means that we are moving away from a culture of ‘doing for’ our care recipients to a culture of ‘doing with’ our care recipients and their families or chosen representatives.

This seems to sound like a very simple thing to do but when you think about the hundreds of years where we have being doing for it will help you understand why this approach can be quite difficult to implement.

There are four key steps towards changing culture and fortunately they just happen to match the lovely acronym C.A.R.E. it is a similar process for most change processes I just happen to like this one for aged care in particular.

Complete a cultural analysis

For any change process you really need to know your staff and their values. This particular culture change is a complete refocus of care delivery, including environment, clinical care, dignity of risk, end of life decisions and service provision.

Staff will be required to move from task and time focused care delivery, a place where they have been comfortably operating often for many many years, to a person-centered approach. This means they have to now take into account the persons needs before their tasks and usual duties.

Even in the best and most functional employees and carers this will most definitely cause stress. Along with feelings of disruption, loss of role identity and a sense of loss in role competence.

Knowing your staff, their values and their readiness to change will enable you to develop a successful implementation plan.

If you want a simple tool for this you could try the cultural analysis tool at

Activate a plan for your staff

The plan should include development and implementation of the new person-centred processes. Remember that everyone learns in different ways so use a variety of mechanisms to deliver information.

Get your staff, consumer representatives and families involved by giving them key tasks that enable them to be an influencer in the change process.

Develop small working groups that have clear timeframes and objectives. Ensure that you keep minutes and report key actions into your leadership/ continuous improvement meetings.

Key questions to ask them are;

  • What are their ideas?
  • What would the outcome be?
  • How would we measure that?

Review how your new processes are going.

There is nothing as motivating to people as seeing progress. Or alternatively seeing where things are not quite right and being able to change track.

Believing in person centred care and making it happen are two separate things. It takes an enormous amount of work.

You’re changing systems, processes, culture and environment. This requires steady leadership, monitoring and review of outcomes.

Encourage positive conversation about change and person-centred care.

Positive conversation reinforces desirable behaviour. Immediate and positive recognition for positive performance will motivate an employee to want to repeat the behaviour. This creates a continuous improvement process.

Positive conversations should include genuine feedback, be unconditional, should be shared with the team, and they are clear and reflective (asking the worker what they did for such a great outcome)

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