Making a difference through person-centred care.

By Ida Britz

Person-centred care focuses on an individual’s relationships, life experiences, abilities, and preferences, and represents innovation within the care environment. Care in Midstream endorses person-centred care as part of our holistic approach to caring for our residents.

The single biggest misconception about Care in Midstream is that it is an institution or a hospital. It is not. For our residents, Care in Midstream is home – not a home away from home, but their permanent home – furnished with their personal belongings, and each person can follow their unique routine.

The person-centred care approach starts before the resident arrives at Care in Midstream. Detailed information is obtained upfront from family members, as well as from the resident. This information gathering process allows us to build a personal profile for each individual. Information gathered covers medical history, medication schedules, dietary requirements, sleeping patterns, personal preferences regarding clothing, hobbies, physical activities, daily routines, formal and informal activity preferences etc. This information enables care partners to help new residents settle into their new home with minimum disruption and anxiety.

Our care partners (traditionally called nurses) form an integral part in the lives of our residents from the very start. Care in Midstream maintains care partner ratios that consistently exceed the industry standards. Our dementia unit has a ratio above the industry norm, and the comprehensive person-centred care unit’s ratio is one care partner for every four to five residents.

The care partner holds and nurtures the relationship between the resident, the family, the care team and bigger Care in Midstream team. The care partner forms a close bond with the resident and knows all their preferences and routines; they can immediately identify any change or discomfort and react to it quickly. The care partner will accompany the resident to group activities and will ensure that they are comfortable and within their comfort level. Care partners do detailed handovers between shifts, i.e. day and night shifts.

Person-centred care goes hand in hand with Person Centred Support Services (PCSS) and home-based care assistance. By systematically and professionally building a care profile over an extended period, Care in Midstream can provide high-quality personalised care for residents. The process ideally starts before the resident arrives at Care in Midstream.

An essential tool used in building the care profile is a professionally structured Risk Assessment. This assessment assists in creating a baseline of the risks a prospective resident may have. The purpose of the assessment is twofold – to help keep people in their private homes for as long as possible and to make the transition to Care in Midstream as smooth as possible when required.