Person-Centered Assessment of Older Person – Care Example

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"Person-Centered Assessment of Older Person" is a great example of a paper on care. A person-centered assessment refers to the gathering of information about the needs and preferences of a person through conversation and/or observation. It is a practice that involves understanding the respondent as a person, his or her beliefs, aspirations, preferences and values, and social care and health needs (Council on Quality Leadership, 2012). The main purpose of conducting such an assessment is to develop a plan that will assist the respondent in making informed decisions and choices about various issues affecting his or her life.

The outcomes of a person-centered assessment are shared with the respondent to enable him or her to make independent choices based on the best evidence available. The respondent is also assisted in interpreting evidence and any complex concepts (Council on Quality Leadership, 2012). This paper presents a critical reflection of my discussion with my neighbor, Mr. Smith, aged 77 years. The purpose of that discussion was to determine what was important to him in the past and what is important to him now.

A critical review of the current literature will be conducted to determine the various issues described by older persons regarding their beliefs, values, aspirations, and preferences, and social care and health needs. Finally, recommendations for evidence-based best practice with be given, drawing from the literature review and discussion with Mr. Smith. As Council on Quality Leadership (2012) explains, person-centered assessment is important to older persons because it makes them feel empowered to manage themselves, feel fully heard, feel supported to make behavioral changes, remain in authority over their lives, and feel that they are valued. Critical reflection discussion with an older personAs mentioned earlier, I conducted a person-centered assessment on Mr.

Smith, a neighbor aged 77 years. During the process, I ensured strict adherence to core principles of person-centered assessment practice, namely, focusing on Mr. Smith as an individual and his needs; involving his family and friends as partners in the assessment process; focusing on the capacities and future of Mr. Smith and ensuring that there is a clear commitment to continued discovery of changes in his capabilities and needs. Adherence to these principles helped to maximize assessment outcomes and to ensure that the dignity of Mr.

Smith was sustained. Prior to engaging in the discussion, I designed several questions that guided me in the process. During the discussion with Mr. Smith, I discovered various issues that were of great concern to him. First, I learned that old people are concerned about whether they will have enough money in the future to cater to their needs. Mr. Smith stated that his body parts have become weaker, and he has become more vulnerable to both minor and major ailments.

From the discussion, I learned that older persons are uncomfortable with regular medical aid and assistance that becomes a routine in their lives. Older persons are often faced with the problem of loneliness and sometimes feel that they are isolated by family members and friends, as expressed by Mr. Smith. However, they agree that old age is an integral part of human life and are willing to face these challenges. Mr. Smith appreciates the fact that he is full of experiences, and he has been of help to many young people who seek advice from him.

Generally, I learned that old age comes with various problems but people find a way to make life look better. Literature reviewSome of the key issues of concern for older people include health problems, inadequate finances, loss of friends and loved ones, and worry over being a burden to others (Kulkarni, 2009, p. 9; Neikrug, 2003, p. 326). A study conducted by Neikrug (2003, p. 326) found that people approaching retirement are the most worried about old age.

Retired persons aged between 65 and 74 years are comparatively less worried because they often find fewer challenges than expected. However, there is a sharp increase in the degree of worries among persons above the age of 75 years. Graham (2003, p. 323) also found that there is an overall decline in worry and degree of anxiety disorders in older adults aged between 65 and 75 years and that the characteristics of worry among may differ depending on the severity of anxiety. Graham (2003, p. 323) also found that there is a positive relationship between anxiety and worry among older persons.

Thus, keeping anxiety levels down may help to reduce worries among older persons. Financial security is a major issue of concern among older persons, as identified by Neikrug (2000, p. 326). According to Worawet (2009, p. 50), a significant percentage of older persons in the world depend on family members for financial support. A Survey conducted in Thailand, in 2007 noted that 31.3% of elderly people in this country do not have any savings or financial assets. Consequently, they depend on their children for financial support to cater to their overall needs.

Worawet (2009, p. 50) suggests that the Thailand government can rescue the situation by creating systems that will enable citizens to make savings that will be paid back to them in old age. Woo (2004, p. 47) found similar results in a study on elderly persons in South Korea. Older persons in South Korea depend on their children for financial support. Social isolation from family members and friends is another issue affecting older people.

Social isolation refers to the absence of contact with other people leading to feelings of loneliness (Victor et al, 2009). Loneliness among older people affects their social and health wellbeing. A study carried out by Hawton et al, (2010, p. 57) indicated that social isolation is negatively related to health status and health-related quality of life of older persons. In other words, isolation may lead to loneliness and stress and may lead to adverse effects on the health and wellbeing of older persons. DiscussionPerson-centered care catering to the needs and concerns of older persons can be implemented in a healthcare organization in various ways.

To start with, staff at all levels should be provided with education and training regarding a person-centered approach (Adams & Grieder, 2004, p. 4). This can be achieved through getting more workers in workshops, providing in-service training, and monitoring. Secondly, there should be effective communication of and access to information related to clients. Information about the needs and concerns of older persons should be deliberated during team meetings and should be provided to staff at all levels in a health care organization.

The frontline staff should report any changes in needs or concerns of a client. Generally, effective skills and communication within a healthcare organization will help to ensure that staff readily understands the needs and concerns of elderly persons and uses available information to find the most suitable solutions of care (Adams & Grieder, 2004, p. 5). Staff in a healthcare organization should always focus on interacting more with older persons. They should develop rapport with the older persons and take time to learn and meet their specific needs.

They should be caring, patient, and respectful to the old people (Orentlicher, 2008, p. 271). This would help to alleviate feelings of loneliness among older persons. Additionally, the care planning process within a healthcare organization should reflect a person-centered care philosophy. Information should be sought from family members, friends, and frontline staff. The physical condition of an elderly person should be assessed by different organizational members including doctors, psychiatrists, and physiotherapists. Staffing levels should be adequate to ensure that all clients are well attended to. The whole organization, from frontline care staff to managers, should be supportive of the implementation of person-centered care (Orentlicher, 2008, p.

272). The various barriers to the implementation of person-centered care include time constraints resulting from workloads and low staffing levels, resistance to change by staff and organization, lack of enough resources to facilitate implementation of person-centered care, failure to include frontline staff in the planning process, and lack of organizational support (Orentlicher, 2008, p. 273). ConclusionIn conclusion, a person-centered assessment helps to determine the specific concerns and needs of a respondent.

This helps to understand a respondent better and to provide a solution that is more specific to his or her problems. As noted in the review of my discussion with Mr. Smith and the literature review, old people have numerous concerns including inadequate finances, body weakness and increased vulnerability to ailments, loneliness, and concern over becoming a burden to others. However, most old people accept these problems as inevitable and look at life from a positive view. They see themselves as valuable especially due to the fact that they have much experience in life and have a role to play in giving advice to younger generations.

Implementation of a person-centered care system in a healthcare organization involves providing adequate education and training to staff, enhancing effective communication within an organization, adopting effective interaction practices, adopting a person-centered care philosophy, and ensuring staff levels are adequate.


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Hawton, A., Green, C., Dickens, A. P., Richards, S. H., Taylor, R. S., Edwards, R., Greaves, C. J. & Campbell, J. L. 2010. The impact of social isolation on the health status and health-related quality of life of older people: Quality Life Research 20, 57-67.

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Orentlicher, M. L. 2008. Striving for Typical: Collective Experiences of Person-centered Planning for Young Adults with Disabilities During Transition. New York: ProQuest.

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Victor, C., Scrambler, S., & Bond, J. 2009. The social world of older people. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Woo, D. S. 2004. Long-term care policy for functionally dependent older people in the Republic of Korea: International Social Security Review. 57(2), 47-62.

Worawet, S. 2009. Poverty and Financial Security of the Elderly in Thailand: Ageing International Journal. 33(1), 50–60.

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