WHAT IS PERSON-DIRECTED ASSISTED LIVING?
Person-directed care is an Eden Alternative philosophy stating “no matter how old we are or what challenges we live with, life is about continuing to grow.”
Person-directed care puts Elders first, offers opportunities for them to grow as individuals, voice their interests/concerns, and have a say in how they spend their days. This type of care enables Elders to live their very best life.
Parkside is an Eden Registered Community and we are well-aware of the positive benefits of person-directed care because we witness it everyday! But don’t just take our word for it.
The Journal of Aging Science published a study on Aging Well: Promoting Person-Directed Care. This study followed a selection of health care communities for a period of five years as they transitioned to a person-directed model of care. The results were astoundingly positive:
REDUCTION IN MEDICATION
- Person-directed care encourages real life initiatives instead of relying on medication to promote growth.
- By reducing medication, caregivers can easily determine when an individual is anxious, troubled or needs extra care.
- Shifting their focus to improve the overall quality of life, many communities were able to reduce their antipsychotic drug percentages by over 50%.
- Person-directed care strives to provide Elders the opportunity to do “things they find meaningful”.
- Implementing day trips and outdoor excursions encouraged the Elders to be physically able to partake.
- Person-directed care also focuses on the aspect of feeling “at home.” Carrying out real food programs with in-house home cooked meals and healthy snack options much like you would eat in your own home, a community was able to boost weight loss by over 50% in an 11 month period.
- This study also found that creating purposeful activities decreased falls by 100% in some communities.
BETTER QUALITY OF LIFE
- Creating Councils and Expressions Programs invites Elders to voice their concerns, opinions, and give ideas to support a culture that centres around their needs.
- When Elders have the chance to shape daily activities by doing things they find meaningful and have an interest in, it creates a better quality of life.
- Educational programs give Elders the chance to learn new skills and mentor others on their expertise. Learning and teaching inspires a sense of purpose.
COMPANIONSHIP AND HAPPINESS
- Person-directed communities understand the importance of intergenerational relationships. Integrating children into the lives of elders helps bring spontaneity and variety to daily routines.
- Animal companionship is just as valuable. By adding dogs, cats, turtles, and other animals to communities in this study, the Elders become more full of life.
- A neighbourhood feel is what makes these communities thrive. An Eden Alternative community was able to positively change the overall health of their Elders by creating a strong neighbourhood feel. “One such area was the reduction of anti-anxiety medications. The home showed a decline in use of these medications over the course of on year from 16% to 6%.” They also saw a decrease in severe pain from 22% to 9%.
The results of this study found that the Eden Alternative principles surrounding “person-directed” care have a favourable effect across the domains of clinical, quality of life and overall well-being among the Elders.
Parkside is an Eden Registered Community. Eden’s principles are at the core of everything we do. When you come to Parkside you become part of a community, living how life should be lived – full of laughter and purpose.