As a result of the work already completed, you should have a good idea of the current culture and practice and where you see yourselves in the future and your assessments will have given you a good idea of the gap between the two. This will help you to decide what you want to work on in order to enhance the culture and practice of your organisation – to become more person centred. Start by making small changes ‘on the ground’, some examples may include:
Engage with consumers and support people/families about how changes may impact them.
You could start working toward each person having a personal profile or life story book and utilising that information on a daily basis. Staff could also do this activity as it is a great way not only to understand and get to know each. other better but also as a way of matching staff and consumers. This would mean updating your rosters to ensure those people with the right skills, attributes and similar interests work alongside people with similar interests and whose needs will be best met. Information about people also focuses on the future, their wishes, needs and goals and this information is provided by the person themselves and their support person/family/friends etc.
From this information, support plans (building on the RAS support plan) could be updated to truly reflect the uniqueness of the individual not only what they need but how they want support to be provided – their own routines, preferences, culture etc would need to be fully documented including what good looks like for that person – this helps to understand when the outcomes have been met.
Don’t forget- Not all support needs have to be provided by formal services. A person centred approach recognises that where appropriate, access to the local community, friends and family enables people living with dementia to feel as if they are part of the world around them – not segregated and different.
Alongside ‘on the ground’ changes you will need to work on ensuring your overall service design is person centred. This includes looking at the following areas that sit under your philosophy.
Strategy development – this will help your organisation to operationalise the philosophy in a way that meets your own contractual requirements and within funding parameters.
Human resources – job descriptions are updated, advertising, recruitment and retention strategy based on a person centred culture including a supervision/coaching model, on-going communication plan, development of ‘change agent’ roles, reward and recognition.
Updating systems, frameworks/models, processes, procedures and documentation to support the sustainability of a person centred culture
Don’t forget to chart your progress so you can look back and see how far you have come or work out where you still need to make changes. If you are using an online resource such as VIPS, you will be provided a section in which to record your improvements. It is really important at this stage to recognise positive achievements. Gather good news stories, take photos (bearing in mind confidentiality and privacy) and share with your people.
With any changes that you implement, it is crucial that you bring your staff along with you on the journey. A change management process that supports the people to make the changes will enable your organisation to get where it needs to be quicker. Telling people what they are going to do and then training them is not enough to make sustainable changes.
People need to understand why and how the changes are taking place, what it means for them, how to make them, time to practice and feedback, be rewarded and recognised for positive efforts and that the changes are here to stay (reinforcement).
Evidence shows us that a structured approach to change management can support more employees to make the change transition more smoothly thereby moving them to a person centred culture quicker.
There are various change models that will guide you through this process.
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