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Putting person-centered care in perspective

July 20, 2009
by ACirillo
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Person-centered care. Culture change. A lot of jargon is being spewed in the continuum of aging services. What I have noticed though is that while the talk is good, the underlying tone is somewhat defeatist and negative and that can only spell doom for the industry.

While embracing the Eden Alternative or building Green Houses is great, there is something more fundamental that needs to take place - not hammers and nails but a shift in hearts and minds. When the shift occurs, natural positive movement occurs. What is that shift? Take a look.

Anthony Cirillo, FACHE, ABC, is a marketing consultant, professional speaker, aging and senior health expert, and the owner of Fast Forward Consulting. Visit his personal blog at www.anthonyssong.blogspot.com.


Anthony's firm Fast Forward Consulting empowers organizations to change the health...



Thanks for the info

Okay 1 volunteer attendat that would float among all the halls would also work well actually.

All culture change and person centered initiatives need to start with the hearts and minds. I personally believe that most organizations simply can not afford certain approaches and are struggling to survive and within the context of their situation make the experience the best it can be. Establish the feeling you want to achieve, start the shift and the energy will change along with behaviors.

The heart, soul, mind and gut of the Eden Alternative and The Green House revolves around changing our hearts and minds much prior to picking up a hammer or embellishing the environment.

I agree that culture / attitude change needs to start with the heart and minds.
That may be the only thing we truly need to make health care really work for the patient.
My true personal feeling is that we as a society all too quickly and easily pawn off our family members once they no longer serve an active part of the family dynamic. It is at this time of their life they truly need us most. And this is when we in a sense abandon them to strangers.

How can a stranger with 6 or 7 people to take care of possibly give my loved one gentle care and a kind word when they have so many tasks to attend. I have heard stories of how rough attendants can be when handling them for changes and turnings why are they rough ? I would like to think that it is because they are in a hurry and such but that does not make it right to mishandle patients or to skip tasks due to work load or staff shortages.

This being said my concern is always for the patient first however you had mentioned in another writing of yours that Burn out is a big issue ...YOU ARE SO Correct !
So I guess the question and the dilemma are
* How does a attendant (I often put an emphasis on the care attendants because they work the most and longest with the patients through the course of a day ) suffering from burnout or feelings of being overworked and underpaid in a billion dollar industry how do they perpetuate the inner change and maintane those good feelings you speak of ? I feel you may need a few more pieces of the puzzle. Do you ever interview the nurses aids / attendants I am certain if you could get some of them to speak out you would have deep concerns. I totally understand what you are saying about additional costs not being financially feasable but it does not cost anything to be gentle, patient and careful when handling the patient.
SO I guess my point is that on the most basic level of care things like changing their clothes, clean bed sheets, answering call buttons these tasks sound simple maybe even trivial compared to taking vital signs and dolling out medication and manning the central desk but they are an integral part of daily life and yet even the most basic care can be neglected or performed poorly.
SO it is not all about cost it is also about making certain the care professionals hired are the right people to be in their positions.
Remember for some this is just a job ( everyone needs one ) and thet attitude is okay in some environments which is perhaps acceptable but when you literally have the life and wellfare of another human being in your hands IT CANNOT BE SO. the care MUST as you say start with the hearts and minds so we need to make sure that the right hearts and minds are giving the care. How can we do that ?????
I ask because in my work I do quite a bit of observing and I observe some people need a different job ...lol yet they are allowed to remain at close proximity to frail helpless individuals. I am sure to some that see this post this sounds totally negative but I am simply siting the facts as they are not as I percieve them.

As I read reread this I feel it may seem like an attack on nurses or medical personnle and attendants that is not my intent .Please forgive me if it seems so.
I applaude all healthcare professionals ( key word professionals) it's the people in healthcare that are not good fits for this industry that I concern myself with.
Kudos to all you that practice Excellence in Patient care and bedside patient care and remember what Mr. Cirillo tells us
" It begins in the hearts and minds"
and extends gently lovingly to the patient. It is nice to have a 5 star facility with amenities but hey it is not always possible however Home is where the heart is home is where you feel safe and loved and speaking for myself as long as I have breath in me I will do my best to impress this upon others and instill the feeling of home and love into these places we currently call Sr. Care facilities. REMEMBER care takers .....you will probably their last experience with life please please be kind even when in a hurry even when your partner has called in and you have 14 patients to care for instead of 7. I mention this fact almost everytime I write because I feel it is part of the problem bottom line there needs to be 3 not 2 attendants per hall. I understand that would mean more expenses BUT That 3rd person could maybe be a volunteer that comes in for a couple of hours ?? this volunteer could assist with menial tasks and this would really help the attendants to facilitate their regular work loads.
Come on peolple there have to be some easy answers out there not everything has to have an astronomical price tag does it ? Any suggestions on how to get some additional help for basic care I am not talking RN's just the bottom line ....which is where everything starts with the BASIC structuring.