9 Ways to Develop Person-Centered Assisted Living

| July 13, 2011

Assisted living providers now have a resource to use in developing person-centered care programs in their communities. Download from the Center for Excellence in Assisted Living.

The Center for Excellence in Assisted Living (CEAL) and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC) have released Person-Centered Care in Assisted Living: An Informational Guide, a collection of 9 person-centered attributes and indicators for assisted living. LeadingAge is a member of CEAL, which is a collaborative of national provider, consumer and advocacy organizations.

CEAL and UNC developed the 9 person-centered attributes through a consensus process involving a wide range of stakeholders. 

The partners plan to conduct field research to test the validity of the 9 attributes

Structural elements of person-centered care (PCC) identified in the report include:   

  1. Core Values and Philosophy. PCC is based on the traditional assisted living core values of respect, autonomy (self-direction), dignity, choice, privacy, independence and a philosophy of services that optimizes elders’ well-being.  
  1. Relationships and Community. Relationships between residents and staff are a primary source of job satisfaction for most direct caregivers and a source of health and well-being for residents.
  1. Senior Management–Owner–Governance. PCC cannot be sustained without the commitment and involvement of senior management, owners or board members.
  1. Leadership. Strong formal leaders will identify talented informal leaders and use their natural leadership skills effectively.
  1. Workforce. A person-centered work culture values and shows the importance of its staff members, who are instrumental in creating a pleasant, welcoming and nurturing environment.
  1. Services. Person-centered services integrate personal preferences, values, lifestyle choices and needs.
  1. Meaningful Life. PCC provides experiences that affirm elders’ sense of self; promote purpose, enjoyment and meaning in daily life; and foster connections with others.
  1. Environment. PCC environments create a homelike atmosphere through the integration of design, space, light, colors, sound, furniture, furnishings and outdoor space.
  1. Accountability. Both internal and external accountability helps organizations test whether or not the other 8 structural elements are achieving desired outcomes.

“A key objective of CEAL is to identify and disseminate information that fosters practices, policies and research that promote excellence in assisted living, and to help make the industry aware of best practices as developed by experts,” says CEAL Chair Josh Allen. “The development of person-centered attributes and indicators…provides a strong framework for providers, regulators and advocates to deliver on the core promises of assisted living.”