A person-centred approach has become popular as the underlying philosophy for dementia care in Australia and many other countries. A person-centred approach is about connecting with others, building and maintaining relationships, embracing uniqueness and the expression of this, and providing a safe, supportive environment with high levels of dignity and respect for those within the environment.
This approach recognises that dementia is only one aspect of a person, and helps to move the focus from being solely on their disease, to who they actually are as a person.
Why use a person-centred approach?
A person-centred approach aims to address the gaps that are often present in aged care practices. In the past it was common for the psychological and emotional needs of people living with dementia in aged care to be overlooked. By adopting a person-centred approach, the stigmas and assumptions associated with people living with dementia can be challenged, resulting in improvements to current care practices and workplace cultures.
Being person-centred as a service provider
Organisations that provide support services are encouraged to adopt person-centred principles in their work in an attempt to eradicate some of the stigmas associated with dementia. Avoiding practices that embrace stigmas, such as treating people like children, is a very effective way to promote being person-centred.