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Nothing About Me, Without Me.
by Brandee Cowley, RN BSN, Apostolic Christian Skylines Home Care Services

Have you ever noticed that in the world of home care services, the consumer is often referred to not as a patient, but as a client? When you see this, it may be an indication that the provider embraces what has come to be called a person-centered model of care, an approach significantly different from the traditional medical model. The person-centered care model is a fundamental change in the way health care services are delivered.

Patient-Centered Care vs. Medical Model

The traditional medical model of health care entails a medical professional—typically a physician—who evaluates symptoms and complaints, prescribes treatments, and assesses outcomes. The consumer is called a “patient,” whose role is to comply with the decisions made by the medical professional.

Person-centered care involves the consumer—and often, in the case of seniors, their family members—in decisions about their care with the goal of helping them maintain their health, well-being and quality of life while assisting them with the activities of daily living.

With person-centered care the focus is on the whole person, not just their medical conditions. In a home care setting the consumer is typically called a “client.” The approach to care is holistic: care planning gives careful consideration to social, mental and spiritual factors, as well as the client’s strengths, weaknesses, preferences and values. The consumer has power and influence in the creation of plan of care. In the case of many seniors, family members are involved in the decision making process.

How to Identify a Person-Centered Care Provider

During the admission process, after reviewing the client’s medical history and conditions, the person-centered care provider interviews the client and family member to learn about the client’s background, habits and preferences. The questions cover topics that may include the client’s daily routine, hygiene habits and preferences, food and food preparation preferences, birthplace, nationality, religious affiliation and importance, military service, marital history, siblings, childhood, education, former occupations, hobbies, favorite TV shows, movies, interests and more.

Why so many questions? First, the person-centered care provider’s goal is to create a complete picture of all aspects of the individual—physical, social, intellectual, spiritual, occupational and emotional. Then, using this picture, the provider writes a plan of care that takes the individual’s needs and preferences into account. The picture also helps them identify a caregiver who is the best match for the client’s needs and preferences and educate that caregiver before they ever meet the client, easing the transition to in-home care.

Ultimately, with the participation of the client and family, the provider’s role becomes more than maintenance of the client’s health and safety. It expands to include maintenance of the client’s well-being and quality of life.

Person-Centered Care Extends Beyond Home Care

The principles of person-centered care also apply to senior living organizations such as assisted living communities and skilled nursing facilities. Just as in home care, in a person-centered care facility, the emphasis is on the individual and their quality of life and preferences, not their medical condition. Identifying the service recipient in a senior living organization that embraces person-centered care as a “resident” and not a “patient” is highly consistent with this model. Participation of residents and their family members is a hallmark.

 AC Skylines Home Care provides in–home care and nursing services for older adults and embraces the person-centered model of care. For more information and a no–charge consultation, call AC Skylines Home Care Services at (309) 689–5343 or send email to Visit or

Apostolic Christian Skylines’ continuing care retirement community offers person-centered living options that range from independent living to skilled nursing care. For more information, call Apostolic Christian Skylines at (309) 683-2500 or send email to Visit or



Apostolic Christian Skylines Home Care

2001 W Willow Knolls Drive, Suite 203
Peoria, IL 61614

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