The Role Of A Person-Centred Approach In Effective Care Planning

Person-centred care, at its core, means involving individuals and their loved ones in decisions about their care. While this sounds straightforward, it is not always the norm. Historically, especially within the health and social care sectors, traditional methods have often followed a much different approach. At our Future Care Group homes, we place effective care planning at the heart of all our services. We engage both the care receiver and their loved ones at every stage of their stay, crafting detailed, personalised care journeys that honour the wishes of each resident.

In this article, we explore the significance of person-centred care, the key differences between traditional and person-centred approaches, and the essential strategies for developing effective care plans within a care home.

Involving Residents In Decisions About Their Care

Across our eighteen care homes, involving residents in decisions about their care is intrinsic to our group LIFE strategy which is incorporated into all the care and care planning we provide to every resident. It ensures every resident’s needs and wishes are met in the way they request and is evident in every care and support plan we create:





End-of-life care planning should not simply be about the practicalities, for us it is about understanding what our residents want, fulfilling wishes, and providing quality of life before, during and after they have passed.  

Involving the care receiver in their care planning is crucial for several reasons:

Respect For Autonomy

Engaging individuals in their care decisions respects their right to make choices about their own lives and health, promoting empowerment. It acknowledges their independence and preserves their dignity by valuing their preferences and desires.

Improved Satisfaction And Well-Being

When care plans reflect the individual’s preferences and values, they are more likely to be satisfied with their care. Feeling heard and understood can significantly enhance emotional well-being and reduce anxiety and depression.

Enhanced Adherence To Care Plans

Patients are more likely to comply with and follow care plans that they have helped create, as these plans will perfectly align with their daily needs, goals, and challenges. The more a patient is engaged, the more they will be invested in their own care, which will only be beneficial when navigating lifestyle or treatment changes.

Better Health Outcomes

Personalised care plans can more effectively address the specific needs and conditions of the individual, leading to better health outcomes. In our experience, considering the whole person, including their social, emotional, and psychological needs, rather than just their physical needs, can have a considerable impact on improved overall health and quality of life.

Strengthened Relationships

As with all relationships in life, trust and communication will pay a key role in their success. Care planning is no exception. Collaborative care planning fosters trust between care receivers and providers, enhancing communication, understanding and empathy. Getting the whole family involved and included in the process can provide additional support and insights, creating a more comprehensive care plan. As far as those caring for you are concerned, the more detail the better. The more we know and understand, the more effectively we can tailor our approach to your care.

Increased Efficiency And Effectiveness

Resources can be allocated more effectively when care plans are tailored to individual needs, reducing waste, and improving efficiency. Understanding patient preferences allows for proactive management of potential issues, reducing the need for reactive interventions.

Empowerment And Self-Management

Involvement in care planning not only boosts the individual’s confidence in managing their own health, but they gain a better understanding of their health conditions and the rationale behind their plans. When residents understand the full picture, they can make confident, informed decisions.

Involving the care receiver in their care planning is not just best practice but a fundamental aspect of providing respectful, effective, and holistic care. It enhances patient satisfaction, improves health outcomes, and ensures that care is truly centred on the individual’s needs and preferences.

Person Centred Care vs Traditional Care

As we mentioned earlier, a person-centred approach to care has not always been the preferred tactic among care providers. The key differences between traditional and person-centred care planning in UK care homes are:

Traditional Care Planning
Person-Centred Care Planning
Standardised plans focusing on general treatments.
Personalised plans reflecting individual needs and goals.
Provider-centric, minimal resident input.
Collaborative, active resident and family involvement.
Primarily on medical conditions and physical health.
Holistic approach including emotional, social, and psychological well-being.
Rigid schedules set by care providers.
Flexible scheduled adapted to resident preferences.
One-way from provider to resident, limited influence.
Open dialogue, two-way communication.
Provider’s perspective dominates.
Resident’s lifestyle and choices respected.
Holistic Needs
Often secondary considerations.
Comprehensive assessment of all needs.
Limited resident empowerment.
Residents are empowered to influence their care.

Care Plans

What Is A Care Plan?

A care plan is a document created for a person receiving healthcare, personal care, or other forms of support. Within a care home setting, like ours, a care plan is carefully crafted for each resident in our long-term or short-term care.

The care plan details why a person is receiving care (their assessed health or care needs), their medical history, personal details, expected and aimed outcomes, and of course what care and support will be delivered to them, how, when and by whom. It may also include a resident’s likes and dislikes, sensory needs (such as do they use a hearing aid, glasses, dentures, do they understand sign language?), and any other information that will be useful (no matter how small or specific) that will be useful for a carer to know. For instance, a dementia resident may have a favourite piece of music that always helps calm them when they get anxious or when they are sundowning.

Care plans are always created following an assessment of a person’s care needs and a risk assessment (both involving the person receiving care and sometimes their family or other advocates). The information from these processes then feeds into the building of the care plan.

A well-crafted care plan is vital for ensuring that a client receives the right level of care tailored to their needs and goals. It serves as a comprehensive guide for health and care professionals, providing essential information for delivering personalised and effective care.

Imagine a carer in one of our homes starting their shift. They consult the resident’s care plan to understand exactly what needs to be done: medications to administer, specific preferences to honour, and critical information about risks and hazards. This detailed plan ensures that care is delivered safely and to the highest standards.

What makes a good person-centred care plan?

In our experience, an effective care plan needs to have two fundamental things at its heart:

  • A person-centred approach.
  • Involvement from the person being cared for and the inclusion of family, friends or other loved ones to provide support and reassurance.

A personalised care plan is much more than just a checklist for administering medicine, serving meals, and providing basic activities. It is a powerful tool designed to help individuals maintain as much independence and control over their lives as possible. The goal is to support them in living a fulfilling life, respecting their choices, and enhancing their well-being.

A well-thought-out care plan enables care providers to gain a deeper understanding of a person’s health and unique needs. It ensures that care is not only safe but also person-centred, aligning with the outcomes the individual desires.

At our Future Care Group homes, we use a digital care planning system called Nourish which means that a resident’s care plan is kept fully up to date in real time. So, if your needs and preferences change, it will be updated immediately for all to see. Carers check care plans religiously, so ensuring they are quick, simple, and easy to access is key. Each carer carries a digital device in their uniform pocket which allows them to access resident care plans at the click of a button.

On top of the needs and requirements highlighted from a resident’s care needs and risk assessment, we also like to gain the following during our open and honest conversations with residents and their families to ensure we can create a comprehensive, person-centred care plan:

  • What the resident would like to achieve with their care and support, their goals, and aspirations for the future.
  • Detailed record of care provided to date – what worked and what did not.
  • What is important to them about how they currently live their life – what do they enjoy doing, their interests, likes and dislikes, who is important to them, who they like to see, and their preferred routines (such as are they early risers or night owls/do they prefer a bath to a shower etc).
  • Details of key life events and dates to help with time tracking.
  • Sensory needs (hearing aids, reading glasses, dentures etc).
  • Essential information for continuity of care and related emergency information.
  • Roles and responsibilities so that the resident receives coordinated care and support to meet their needs.
  • How the person’s family and others concerned with their well-being have been consulted when a resident cannot express their choices themselves.
  • The desired outcome for the person and any alternative options considered.
  • The benefits and risks associated with each option.

End-Of-Life Care Planning

Planning for a person’s end-of-life care is a critically important task for caregivers. We only have one chance to get this right, and doing so can make a profound difference not only to the individual but also to their loved ones. As with dementia care, individuals receiving end-of-life care may experience frequent changes in their condition, sometimes on an hourly basis as they approach the end.

Advance care planning for end-of-life residents, when possible, can be highly beneficial. The importance of advance directives and facilitating meaningful conversations early in the process is crucial for effective end-of-life care planning. These steps ensure that the resident’s wishes are respected and can significantly enhance their quality of life until the end..

Read our article on end-of-life care planning for more information on how our expert team handle this specialist care planning. 

Facilitating Open And Meaningful Communication

Professional carers like ours, are highly skilled in their roles. Given the daunting and overwhelming nature of the process, they excel at facilitating conversations with residents to create effective care plans. A professional care provider will:

  • Be available to listen, ask questions, and allow the resident to share their story at their own pace and in their own way.
  • Inquire about the resident’s values.
  • Provide all relevant information in an accessible manner.
  • Involve family and friends, when possible, to offer additional support.
  • Choose the right setting and time of day for the resident, ensuring the conversations are comfortable and productive.
  • Communicate clearly and slowly, using straightforward, jargon-free language.
  • Have the residents’ interests at heart throughout.

Dementia Plan Of Care

Creating a care plan for a dementia resident involves a comprehensive and personalised approach like the process used for individuals in residential, nursing, or respite care at our homes. However, for dementia residents, we place additional emphasis on understanding their current likes, dislikes, and interests, as well as the activities and pastimes they enjoyed before the onset of dementia.

Gathering detailed information about their life history, including their pets, jobs, and hobbies, plays a crucial role in effectively managing their care. This knowledge is particularly valuable when a resident with dementia exhibits signs of distress or challenging behaviour. For example, we have had residents who were former nurses and, at bedtime, would walk the corridors “turning down the beds” for other residents. Similarly, former postal workers often wake up early, and fans of Reggae music may find comfort and calm when listening to their favourite Bob Marley tunes.

Due to the progressive nature of dementia, care plans for these residents need to be adaptable, often requiring adjustments on a weekly or even daily basis. The most significant aspect of dementia care planning is the awareness that the resident’s needs can change suddenly, necessitating a flexible and responsive approach to ensure their comfort and well-being.

Read our article on what dementia care involves at the Future Care Group for more information.

Through effective care planning, we can create a supportive environment where each person feels valued, empowered, and heard. If you would like to find out more about respite care at the Future Care Group, or any of our other care provisions, please do not hesitate to contact us or book a visit, at your convenience. We cannot wait to welcome you.

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