A Guide To Delivering Person-Centered Care In Nursing Homes


Nursing homes play a crucial role in healthcare, offering a secure and nurturing space for older individuals needing extended care. With some residents and families expressing their need for individualized care, person-centered care has been developed.

Person-centered care is an approach that puts the patient or resident at the center of the care process. It recognizes each resident’s unique needs and preferences and focuses on meeting those needs respectfully, dignifiedly, and empoweringly. This is usually practiced for people with syndromes like dementia, where staff members are provided with dementia training to give patients the optimal care they deserve.

Key Principles Of Person-Centered Care

Person-centered care is based on several fundamental principles that guide the care process. These principles include:

  • Respect For The Individual
    Person-centered care recognizes that each resident has unique needs and preferences. It acknowledges that residents can make care decisions and respects their choices and preferences.
  • Relationship-Based Care
    They recognize that the relationship between the resident and the care provider is critical to quality care. It encourages care providers to develop positive relationships with residents and their families and work collaboratively to identify and meet their needs.
  • Collaboration And Partnership
    This collaborative approach involves the resident, their family, and the care team. It recognizes that all stakeholders have a role in providing quality care and encourages partnership and collaboration to achieve this goal.
  • Empowerment
    Person-centered care allows residents to control their care by allowing them to express their choices, make decisions concerning their well-being, and actively engage in everyday activities.

A Guide to Delivering Person-Centered Care In Nursing Homes

Delivering person-centered care in nursing homes requires a comprehensive approach that involves all stakeholders. Here’s a guide to doing it:

  • Establish A Person-Centered Culture
    Creating a person-centered culture is the foundation of delivering person-centered care. Nursing home administrators should promote a culture that values and respects residents’ individuality and supports care providers in delivering person-centered care.
  • Identify Residents’ Preferences And Needs
    Care providers must identify each resident’s preferences and needs. This involves developing a relationship with the resident; understanding their background, interests, and cultural beliefs; and collaborating with the resident and their family to develop a care plan that meets their needs.
  • Involve Residents And Their Families In The Care Process
    Involving residents and their families in care is essential to delivering person-centered care. This involves providing opportunities for residents to express their preferences, make decisions about their care, and participate in daily routines.
  • Provide Training To Care Providers
    Care providers need to be trained in person-centered care principles and practices. This includes developing communication skills, building positive relationships with residents, and understanding cultural competency’s importance.
  • Evaluate And Improve Care
    Nursing homes must regularly evaluate their care practices and make improvements based on resident feedback and staff input. This includes developing a quality improvement program that focuses on improving the delivery of person-centered care.

The Benefits Of Person-Centered Care

Person-centered care is a healthcare model that prioritizes the individual’s needs and preferences in the care process. In nursing homes, adopting this approach can lead to improved quality of life, better health outcomes, and higher resident satisfaction levels. Here’s a more in-depth discussion of these benefits:

  • Improved Quality Of Life
    Person-centered care recognizes each resident’s unique needs and preferences and focuses on supporting their emotional, social, and spiritual well-being and physical health. By addressing these needs, person-centered care can improve residents’ quality of life and help them maintain a sense of purpose and meaning.
  • Better Health Outcomes
    When care is tailored to meet the individual needs of each resident, it‘s more likely to be effective in promoting health and preventing illness. For example, a person-centered approach to care can help ensure residents receive appropriate medications, follow dietary restrictions, and engage in physical activity.
  • Increased Satisfaction With Care
    Person-centered care places a high value on communication and collaboration, involving residents and their families in care planning. This approach can improve satisfaction with care by ensuring that residents’ needs and preferences, especially those of aging parents, are taken into account and treated with dignity and respect.
  • Reduced Behavioral Symptoms
    For residents with cognitive conditions or syndromes like dementia, person-centered care can reduce the frequency and severity of behavioral symptoms, such as agitation, aggression, and wandering. Nursing homes can create a more calming and positive living environment by recognizing and responding to residents’ unique needs.
  • Improved Staff Morale
    Providing person-centered care can also benefit the nursing home staff. By enabling the staff to build positive relationships with residents and provide more meaningful care, they may experience increased job satisfaction and a sense of purpose in their work.Overall, person-centered care can profoundly impact the health and well-being of nursing home residents. By promoting a more individualized and holistic approach to care, nursing homes can provide a higher quality of care and improve the overall experience for residents and their families.

Challenges Faced In Person-Centered Care

While person-centered care has many benefits, there are also several challenges that nursing homes face when implementing this approach to care. Here are some of those challenges:

  • Time Constraints
    Providing person-centered care requires a significant investment of time and resources. Care providers must get to know each resident individually, identify their needs and preferences, and develop a care plan that meets those needs. This can be challenging in a fast-paced nursing home environment where staff may need to be stretched thin.
  • Staffing Issues
    Staffing levels and staff turnover can make it challenging to deliver person-centered care consistently. Staff members who are overworked or poorly trained may struggle to provide personalized care to each resident.
  • Communication Barriers
    Communication barriers can make building positive relationships with residents and their families challenging. Language barriers, hearing or vision conditions, and cognitive decline can all impact communication.
  • Balancing Individual Needs With Group Activities
    Nursing homes often provide residents with group activities and social events, which can benefit their social and emotional well-being. However, these homes must balance the individual needs and preferences of residents with group activities.
  • Resistance To Change
    Implementing person-centered care in a nursing home can require a significant cultural shift. Resistance to change from the staff or residents can make it difficult to adopt new practices and fully implement person-centered care.Addressing these challenges requires a comprehensive approach that involves all stakeholders, including nursing home administrators, staff members, residents, and their families. It requires ongoing communication, training, and support to ensure that person-centered care is delivered consistently and effectively.


Person-centered care has the potential to transform the way care is delivered in nursing homes. By focusing on the unique needs and preferences of each resident and involving them and their families in the care planning process, this type of care can improve the quality of life for residents, promote better health outcomes, and increase satisfaction with care.