The Domains of Well-being.

By Ida Britz

Over the last few months, Care in Midstream has implemented Person-centred Care as part of our holistic approach to caring for our residents. Since implementing the methodology, we have experienced positive results over a remarkably short period. Our residents are enjoying smooth-running days, and they are not just more relaxed – they are flourishing!

Endorsing Person-centred Care involves much more than checking tick boxes on a form – it is a lifestyle; not only for our residents but also for our staff. During June, we facilitated four full days of staff training to reinforce the Person-centred Care principles. The training presented by a specialist in the field, a highly trained occupational therapist, focused on the Code of Ethics and Domains of Well-being.

The Domains of Well-being provides a base from which our residents are enabled to thrive. Research and experience have taught us that three areas hamper our residents’ quality of life – loneliness, helplessness and boredom. The Domains of Well-being guide us to develop a holistic wellness plan for each resident, considering their strengths and goals.

IDENTITY – individuality; wholeness; having a history. Part of knowing each other profoundly involves acknowledging our strengths and what we have to offer.

GROWTH – development; enrichment; expanding; evolving. Individuals living with frailty continue to grow and teach us how to be human beings in a culture of caring.

AUTONOMY – self-governance; self-determination; immunity from the arbitrary exercise of authority; choice; freedom. Simply put, to be autonomous is to be one’s own person – to be respected for one’s ability to decide for oneself, control one’s own choices.

SECURITY – freedom from doubt, anxiety, or fear; safe, certain, assured; having privacy; dignity, and respect. Abraham Maslow taught that a hierarchy of needs motivates human beings and that certain lower needs must be satisfied before higher needs can be fulfilled. For example, safety needs – the security of home and family, freedom from fear and anxiety – must be satisfied before we can grow toward self-actualization.

CONNECTEDNESS – state of being connected; alive; belonging; engaged; involved; not detached; connected to the past present and future; connected to personal possessions; connected to place; connected to nature. It is about being a part of something bigger than ourselves.

MEANING – significance; heart; hope; value; purpose; reflection. A person-directed approach infuses meaning into every corner, every act, and every relationship. Meaning is generated because of the caring relationships we have nurtured with one another.

JOY – happiness; pleasure; delight; contentment; enjoyment. Joy is a short, simple word that describes the best, most elusive dimensions of human experience. Joy is deeper and more encompassing than happiness. It is through the relationships we have with one another that we can discover ways to recognize and celebrate those moments of joy when they occur.