Adult Day Services

A Philosophy of Person-centered Care

Person-centered care is a philosophy based in Carl Rogers’s belief in a client-centered approach over any theory or opinion of the therapist. The person is the expert in their life history and needs and the therapist merely a facilitator.

Tom Kitwood applied the Rogerian model to caring for older adults with dementia to emphasize the person approach over the medical/behavioral expert approach generally taken with those of diminished cognitive capacity. Older adults with dementia are not children to be guided and trained how to behave, but adults with a life history, formed opinions, habits of independence and preferred activities and ways of life. In her article What is person-centred care in dementia? Clinical Gerontology 2004 13; 215-222) Dawn Brooker described Kitwood’s emphasis on communication and relationship as rooted in authentic interactions.

Brooker defined person-centered care consisting of four elements:

  1. Valuing people with dementia and those who care for them (V)
  2. Treating people as individuals (I)
  3. Looking at the world from the perspective of the person with dementia (P)
  4. A positive social environment in which the person living with dementia can experience relative wellbeing (S)