Patient Centric Care

In our home care agency we have found that the behaviors of dementia patients are best handled when caregivers have as much knowledge about them as possible.  Continuity of care is paramount.  This is best achieved when the same caregivers assist the individual on a regular basis.  They know what gets Mr. Smith agitated and they have learned ways to help Mrs. Jones settle down quickly.

When a patient is new, or when a new caregivers are being introduced, there is a learning curve.  This can be made as painless as possible if the family provides the following information.  With dementia, “it’s not about the cure, it’s about the care.”  The best way we can be patient-centric is by getting to know them and how their behaviors might relate to their personal history and experiences.

1 – What does your loved prefer to be called?

2 – What are the events/places that are important to her?

3 – Who/what are the people/pets/items that are important to her?

4 – What are the things she likes to do?

5 – What are the things that matter in her daily routine?

6 – What helps if she becomes agitated or upset?

7 – What are her likes/dislikes?

8 – What are general details about her family:  where she grew up, names of children, where she lived, etc.

9 – What other information would help a caregiver understand her as a person?