Hopefully if you have been touring nursing communities, the term person centered care is familiar. Healthcare workers are becoming comfortable with this terminology, yet many would not be able to say just what this looks like. Person centered care can be many things and it would be hard to find one community that is doing everything.

What to look for when searching for a person centered care center:

  • What kind of dining experience do they provide? Restaurant style, (where someone takes your order), buffet style where residents help themselves or staff assist the, family style  where bowls and platters are served on the dining table, 2 hour dining where residents can decide within a 2 hour window when they want to eat, or the 24 hour dining where the kitchen is serving around the clock.
  • Snacks and drinks are available 24 hours a day (and are always free)
  • Baked items are made and baked in kitchen in the resident’s living space
  • The community celebrates individual birthdays as well as a monthly group celebration
  • Special amenities are available such as massage or aromatherapy
  • There is a dog or cat who lives in the community (this is a very important question when there are allergies)
  • Better yet the community allows for the resident to bring their own cat or dog to live in the community
  • Residents are able to make choices: when to get up in the morning, when to go to bed, when to take a shower or bath, and are able to bathe as often as they would like
  • Living areas include a kitchen, dining area, and living room – a self contained household
  • No centralized nurses station – a person centered community looks like a home and no home has a nurses station

Virginia Garberding RN

Certified in Gerontology and Restorative Nursing