For adult children of aging parents who who have taken on the primary role of caregiver, this role can sometimes lead to burnout. Adult children often have many other responsibilities to attend to such as raising children and working full-time. This is where person-centered home care can step in and help.
What is person-centered home care?
Person-centered home care is an approach where the person, not their illness, is the focus of care. To illustrate further, if an aging adult has dementia, it can be easy to focus on the illness rather than the person. Family caregivers often struggle to reconcile the person they used to be with the person in the present. The problem with this is when we see behaviors as symptoms instead of as human attributes, we are less flexible as caregivers. With person-centered home care, the provider focuses on the aging adult with respect and as a unique individual despite their illness.
How to make it work
Here are two simple ways to start implementing the person-centered approach today.
1. Freedom of choice: Aging adults with dementia or other conditions still need the freedom to make choices. Caregivers can take advantage of many opportunities to offer an aging adult choices throughout their day. For example, provide aging adults the choice of what they want to eat. Use pictures for those who are non-verbal.
Choices can also be presented when deciding what to wear for the day and what they want to do that day, such as take a walk or watch their favorite TV show.
2. See the world from their perspective: By stepping into their shoes and seeing the world from the aging adult’s eyes, the caregiver can use their empathy to automatically offer care from a person-centered approach.
Oftentimes, this comes naturally for loved ones of aging adults, and they feel that no one can care for their loved one like they can. With the person-centered approach, however, professional home care providers give high-quality, compassionate care for aging adults. They can become part of a family-centered team.