Providing effective care for the elderly is essential and there are number of procedural regulations which must be followed in order to ensure care is appropriate and meets the needs of individuals. Various studies and research has taken place in order to determine the best method of care for elderly people and there are a number of agencies which provide support and training to care practitioners. Whilst traditional forms of care often focused on dealing with the issues faced by the elderly, such as medical conditions, dementia or limited independence, newer approaches are now considered to be more effective and provide better care for individuals.
The ‘person-centric’ approach focuses on the individual and his or her needs rather than focusing on the issues they may face. It is believed that taking an individual approach is more effective and enables care practitioners to provide specialised and tailored care. Relationship centred care goes even further than the person centred approach and includes focusing on the relationships that the individual has with others. This includes relationships with the care staff themselves in addition to relationships with family, friends, other residents in care homes as well as people within their communities and medical practitioners. By becoming aware of the individual’s past and present relationships, care staff can gain a greater insight into the person’s life and lifestyle and relate more effectively with the individual, thus providing more responsive care.
Benefits of Relationship-Centred Care
Relationship centred care recognises the benefits of maintaining relationships and encourages elderly people to maintain contact with their family and friends. In addition to providing this emotional support, practical help is also available to ensure older people can maintain relationships, socialise and keep in contact with friends and family.
For care home residents, a relationship centred approach can dramatically reduce memory loss as residents are encouraged to talk about their families and relationships and are continually recalling facts about their lives. Care home residents are encouraged to maintain contact with family and friends and build relationships rather than become isolated. The ‘third dimension’ of the relationship centred approach is the relationship between care practitioners and the resident’s family and friends. With permission of the resident, care practitioners can build a relationship with the individual’s support network and help to maintain the relationship between the resident and their family. In addition to providing support to the individual, this relationship can be vital for the family and friends of the resident.
Rather than merely focusing on the issues faced by the elderly, the relationship centred approach enables them to be treated as individuals and with dignity. By assessing their individual needs, care practitioners can provide the appropriate treatments and therapeutic interventions which are tailored to their specific needs. This enables the individual to maintain as much independence as possible and function in an enriching and supportive environment. By taking a holistic view of caring for the elderly, individuals are treated as such and encouraged to make independent choices regarding their care and treatment plan whilst being able to access the appropriate level of assistance and support.
Hallmark focus on relationship-centred care in their homes and offer care homes in Dumballs Road Cardiff and across the UK.