Alzheimer Society develops new info on person-centred care


PC P.E.A.R.L.S. can be added to programs like Supportive Measures

Monday, February 24, 2014 — Deron Hamel

The Alzheimer Society of Canada has released new information to assist long-term care homes in providing person-centred care. Mary Schulz, education director at the Alzheimer Society of Canada, says the seven PC P.E.A.R.L.S can be introduced to homes in conjunction with already effective tools, including OMNI Health Care’s Supportive Measures program.

PC P.E.A.R.L.S. is an acronym for the seven key elements a recent study by the society found common in six Canadian long-term care homes it researched: person/family engagement, care, processes, environment, activity and recreation, leadership and staffing.

The Alzheimer Society website describes the core principles of PC P.E.A.R.L.S.  and provides strategies long-term care homes can use to ensure each component is fully utilized.

The Alzheimer Society estimates 747,000 Canadians — many of whom live in long-term care homes — have Alzheimer’s disease or dementia and the number is expected to climb to 1.4 million by 2031.

In an interview with the OMNIway, Schulz applauds OMNI’s Supportive Measures program as an example of what long-term care providers should be doing to promote person-centred care. Supportive Measures provides personalized interventions for residents affected by Alzheimer’s disease or dementia that helps alleviate anxiety, agitation and frustration.

Schulz also says that while OMNI and other long-term care providers have long been working to promote person-centred care, there are always new things to learn. Learning new ways to provide person-centred care, she adds, is a “journey” for caregivers.

“I think the first message is ‘good for you,’ ” she says of the Supportive Measures program. “This is obviously not just the flavour of the month; this is the philosophy that we all need to embrace if we’re going to make living in long-term care more meaningful but also to make the work more meaningful and satisfying for staff.

“Don’t stop now; there’s more (long-term care providers) can do and we’re here to help with the very specific strategies,” Schulz says.

Based on the results coming from the long-term care homes using PC P.E.A.R.L.S. principles, even residents in the later stages of dementia are able to be “reached,” Schulz says.

Staff members and families can use elements of PC P.E.A.R.L.S. to better engage residents in a personalized way. The result is that families and staff members can communicate — even nonverbally — to residents with dementia. The trickle-down effect is that families learn new ways to connect with their loved ones.

“Staff feels much more satisfied with their work because they’re not providing care on an assembly line,” Shulz adds. “They’re given the flexibility to say, ‘I think (the resident) needs something different today and I’m going to have the freedom to experiment.’ ”

Click here to read more about the seven PC P.E.A.R.L.S.

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