;Developing person-centred thinking in staff and working with staff in a person-centred way will naturally flow to a person-centred approach practices. As a leader, you cannot expect others to change the way they work if you cannot change. It would be beneficial to show staff that you are changing your work practices where you need to. This will demonstrate that it is a holistic process and no one will be excluded.
Provide staff the opportunity to reflect on their values and beliefs and express any concerns they may have.
Identify those who will enable the process – skilled, knowledgeable staff with good communication skills and leadership qualities.
Create a work environment that is of mutual respect and trust, an environment that evokes a sense of enrichment and conduciveness to person-centred approaches.
Provide opportunities for staff training and education.
Have someone with skills to discuss decisions made under the medical model approach that may have unintentionally undermined a client and contrast with what the outcomes may have been with a person-centred approach. This will help in identifying the value of this approach.
Case conferencing can be very powerful in getting the full spectrum of staff and GPs together. It needs to be facilitated by someone with underpinning person-centred approach knowledge. This is a good education tool, a practical way for everyone to understand the person-centred approach better. It may require some extra resourcing but the long term benefits will make it worth it.
Invest now for better outcomes later. For example, investing in staff education and training and cultural philosophy of the service will assist with long term outcomes such as staff retention and attraction. If you are investing in cultural change and better workplace outcomes, the service is also more likely to attract clients, volunteers, and involvement from community groups.
Look at what standards need to be met under the medical model and identify how these can be achieved with a person-centred approach.
Instil a deep understanding of how to identify and understand the holistic needs of a person with or without dementia.You cannot teach someone how to work with a person with dementia if they do not have underpinning knowledge of the holistic needs of a person.
Exercises in self-reflection can be helpful in teaching this. Domains of wellbeing, also know as the Eden Alternative, helps people to understand the different components that contribute to the unique wellbeing of an individual. For more information, visit: The Eden Alternative Domains of Well-Being website
Keep the momentum and motivation going by sharing success stories and validating staff efforts.
Lay the foundations for a successful roll out of a person-centred approach. The organisational framework and systems need to support the change and new paradigm.
Change all by itself can be challenging, scary and complex for some people. Resistance can be there for simple reasons. One example might be the fear of failure. Take the time to find out what support individuals might need to travel the journey of change with you.
It would be beneficial to explore the challenges and struggle around the differences between a person-centred approach and long established ways of operating. Why do we need to change? Be clear about the reasons why change is essential. It may be clear to you but not to those you are trying to get on board. Be open about what the change will mean for everyone involved and what the desired outcomes are. Using examples of how the current system falls short may help. Discuss why there is a paradigm shift underway.
Consider these key components to a successful implementation of a person-centred approach – capacity, staff, organisational commitment, education, skills abilities, creativity, individuality and resources.
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