Person-Centered Care for Persons Living With Neurodegenerative Conditions.

by T.D., FCO Placement Student

In recent years, Person-Centered Care (PCC) models have garnered increasing attention in long-term care settings. This growing recognition is attributed to their adoption of a more humanistic approach, diverging from the predominantly medicalized orientation to care. While medical interventions remain imperative in long-term care to preserve residents' physical well-being, these interventions often assume a custodial and task-oriented nature, which may not facilitate a comprehensive approach capable of addressing the diverse needs of the residents. PCC offers a transformative paradigm that prioritizes the individuals' humanity and the alignment of care with the unique requirements of each resident, transcending conventional institutional and biomedical objectives (Brooker, 2007; Gladman et al., 2007; Powers, 2005, as cited in Li & Porock, 2014).

When caring for and with people living with neurodegenerative conditions like Alzheimer's, Dementia, or Parkinson’s, the application of PCC becomes a subject of inquiry, particularly in light of the obstacles these conditions sometimes present to informed decision-making concerning health and safety. While neurodegenerative conditions, by nature, can limit an individual's ability to exercise self-determination fully, PCC offers a promising path forward. By adopting a shared decision-making approach, carers can ensure that the values, interests, and preferences of the person with the condition continue to play a central role in guiding their care (Wagner et al., 2021). This process is not only about addressing immediate safety concerns but also extends to promoting the individual's overall health, well-being, and quality of life. Moreover, PCC could also encompass straightforward actions, such as the cultivation of emotional presence, paying attention during conversations, and maintaining an open and respectful body posture (Park, 2019). By exercising vigilance in attitudes and interactions with people living with neurodegenerative conditions residing in LTC and communities, caregivers and providers can initiate a counteraction against the societal inclination to negate their personhoods and agencies (Park, 2019). Such practical modalities serve as instruments for re-humanization, particularly in the purview of negative attitudes that may challenge a person’s unique identity as a human being and, by extension, their autonomy (Park, 2019).

In sum, PCC recognizes that irrespective of neurodegenerative progression, people retain their preferences, aversions, cultural affinities, and aspirations concerning their lives (Park, 2019). It highlights the enduring values and character traits shaped by an individual's life experiences (Park, 2019), offering a framework for care partners to engage in meaningful practices guided by and through those experiences.


Wagner, L. M., Van Haitsma, K., Kolanowski, A., & Spetz, J. (2021). Recommendations to deliver person-centered long-term care for persons living with Dementia. Journal of the American Medical Directors Association, 22(7), 1366-1370.

Li, J., & Porock, D. (2014). Resident outcomes of person-centered care in long-term care: A narrative review of interventional research. International Journal of Nursing Studies, 51(10), 1395-1414.

Park, E. (2019, October 31). The dehumanization of persons with Dementia. Medium.

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