Person-centred care and the right to make choices cannot be separated. Firstly, because taking away an elder person’s ability to choose how they want to live also takes away the independence and autonomy they have built throughout their adult life. And secondly, everyone wants to maintain their dignity – to be unashamed when they require care.
All too often elders aren’t asked what they want, from the big decisions like whether to move to a retirement facility to the small ones like what time of day they like to eat supper. Families, however well-intentioned, sometimes see their loved one needs care and starts making big and small decisions for them or without them.
Given the close and personal nature of home-based care, personalised arrangements and the ability to choose sets great care apart from the all-too-common, overly-restrictive approach where each day is just like the one before.
A great care service gives elders choices, allowing them to get support as, when and how it’s needed. The more the your loved one is involved, the easier it is to give them one the life they want to live.
We believe that care should be tailored – there is no one size fits all. The ideal scenario is one in which you and your loved one build the care around existing lifestyles and according to everyone’s personal preferences and needs.
This unlocks the benefits of “ageing in place” by being able to live at home for as long as possible in the place they feel most comfortable and secure. According to a survey, as many as 90% of us would prefer to live at home during our old-age.
Here are some of the ways we, anyone caring for a loved one, can protect choice and dignity at a time when many feel their independence is being trimmed:
Meals - Keep elders involved in meal planning and preparation. Asking about favourite meals and recipes also sparks casual conversation and beautiful memories, releasing those feel-good hormones. One of the easiest ways to encourage healthy eating and daily interaction is to include them in the cooking.
Personal space – We all like to keep our possessions, whether valuable or not, in the ‘right’ place. Asking where items should go demonstrates respect and keeps memory or decision-making brain-circuits firing. Feeling that things are in their place can often bring back feelings of control over our lives in a situation where some independence is being limited.
Shopping, Errands & Outings – When we can't manage to do things independently, our world begins to feel smaller and more limited. But arm in arm with a friendly companion, getting out and about for grocery shopping, library visits, the church, the bank or even a visit to a comfy park bench makes a big social difference and enhances the sense of connection with the world at large.
Caring Companionship – Being available and on-hand in a relaxed manner by asking lots of questions or understanding intuitively what someone would choose is a wonderful way to forge a genuine relationships without exercising control. Not only is it good for body and soul but it also gives everyone peace of mind that nobody need be left alone.
This kind of approach - coupled with a sense of dignity and independence – really assists elders to maintain their individuality, mobility and lifestyle. The more inclusion they experience and input they can give, the higher their quality of life will be regardless of their physical condition.
CareCompany wholeheartedly lives the person-centered care philosophy and we have seen elders in our care flourish at every later stage of aging. It is possible to live a happier, more independent, and dignified life with the right support.
For more information, speak to us and get a free assessment of your needs - we're here to help!