What is a Person-Centred Approach? Copy

Laurie: I’ve recommended this lesson and the next as videos but I think there’s an opportunity to combine them for use in other places as one Person-Centred Approach video.

An important concept to keep in mind is the importance of a ‘person-centred’ approach. Essentially, this places the participant first in every aspect of the program; from design to presentation and even evaluation. A person-centred approach means focusing on each person’s individuality, interests, histories, and abilities rather than on their diagnosis and the changes and losses that result from it. There is much more to the person than that. It also means that the way you approach one person is not necessarily the way you connect with another. Being person-centred means being attentive, responsive and using individualized strategies for each participant in a manner that supports their unique strengths.

While we have spent a great deal of time learning about dementia, once you have that knowledge to guide you, your approach and the focus of the program as a whole shifts to the individual in that moment.

The key points of a person-centred approach include:

  • Treating the person with dignity and respect
  • Understanding that each participant has their own history, lifestyle, culture and preferences, likes, dislikes, hobbies and interests, and getting to know them as a whole person, not simply a person with a diagnosis
  • Looking at situations from the point of view of the participant
  • Providing opportunities for the person to have conversations and relationships with other people
  • Ensuring the person has the chance to try new things or take part in activities they enjoy.
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