Nursing Homes are focusing on an important dimension to services to elders in their care. It is called Person-Centered Care. The concept is not new to Isabella but may be a new way to describe diverting attention away from store-housing elderly, frail people to a renewed commitment to any individual who takes up residence in our Nursing Home. Isabella’s mission has always been “to provide quality care through diverse programs designed to promote health and independence within and without our walls.” Person-centered care zeros in on this dedication to physical, mental and emotional health of the individual resident. It is an expression of faithful adherence to the original inspiration for founding Isabella.
Creating Home Again
What does a person–centered care approach look like in practical terms? At Isabella elders can choose to participate in a variety of recreational activities; they receive affectionate attention from staff they encounter during the course of a day. We see this caring in the warm smiles of nursing assistants, and the help a resident receives from staff “going h/her way” to another locale in Isabella. Residents and staff always welcome the many volunteers who want to spend time in the neighborhoods of Isabella. Residents who have outlived their families especially value their visits.
Another way Isabella counters the isolating effects of life in a Nursing Home is the Home Again Ambassador Program. Staff volunteers can become part of the Ambassador group which orchestrates games, song sessions, and storytelling in ways that encourage positive resident to resident interaction.
Isabella fosters the spirit of caring through a Person Centered Care committee composed of staff from different disciplines and job titles. Person Centered Care workgroups have measures by which they keep track of efforts to effect change. Currently a Dining Services project is underway. New changes in menu items reflect the choices of Isabella residents, delivery of meals in steam tables rather than in institutional type trays and the presence of dining hosts attempt to make the dining experience more enjoyable. Basic to the project are gracious interactions among staff and between staff and residents as together they create a pleasant ambience at mealtimes.
In all these ways Isabella keeps growing as a home where person-centered care is the number one priority.
By: Angela Menghraj