As we mature, we inevitably need a more supportive environment, which often includes medical care. Putting people at the centre of their own healthcare may seem evident, but it is an approach that is not widely practiced in the medical community.

Empowering people to take charge or their own healthcare is even more important when it comes to those in their golden years. Research has proven that a key component of ongoing quality of life and well-being is retirees being involved in, and central to, their own healthcare.

The Journal of Aging Research defines this approach as person-centred care.

What is person-centred healthcare?

A growing body of empirical evidence indicates that person-centred practices are more pleasant to experience, help to optimise health and well-being outcomes, and result in higher satisfaction.

Dr Jackie Pinkowitz, the Chair of the CCAL: Advancing Person-Centred Living, says that care should be approached holistically, and should be focussed on enhancing the dimensions of one’s health and well-being, including one’s creative being, intellectual being, social wellness, spiritual being and physical health.

“Person-centred care encompasses the activities and services planned according to each resident’s personal preferences and values,” Dr Pinkowitz continuous.  “This approach honours each senior’s choice, dignity and individuality, which enhances both quality of care and life for seniors.”

Well-being, she says, is about more than the absence of disease, it’s also about letting personal values and preferences drive healthcare choices.

From the senior’s perspective, this type of care includes the following practices and principles:

  1. I have the right to determine how best to meet my needs.
  2. Decision-making must include me, my family and my healthcare team.
  3. My care must be empowering, nurturing and respectful.
  4. My care should optimise my physical and psychosocial well-being.
  5. Nothing about me, without me.”

At Garlington Village, every individual resident is ensured autonomy, independence and privacy, and is treated with dignity and respect. Support is provided in an inclusive way and includes residents’ families and larger support networks. Garlington Village residents have the right to determine their needs, decide how to have those needs met, and enjoy the freedoms of their personal choice and preferences.