A person- and family-centered method of care has been shown to improve quality of care and life according to research, says an AARP report, and while the concept has gained attention in the past few years as a way to transform health care and long-term supports and services (LTSS), it still hasn’t been fully integrated.
But current shifts in payment reform and service delivery away from disease or provider-focused models toward incentives rewarding better coordination, communication, and continuity of care, person- and family-centered care (PFCC) might promote this care model and lead to wider-spread adoption and integration.
The AARP Insight details elements of PFCC, which include recognizing and being aware of an individual’s background, culture, and preferences; supporting a person’s relationships with family and friends; assessing and addressing both an individual’s and the family caregiver’s needs and preferences; and emphasizing coordination and collaboration across care settings.
This model focuses not just on the person who requires care, but also on the caregiver(s) providing that care. The family is the main source of help for older people who need assistance on a daily basis, and researchers estimate that 66% of older people receiving LTSS at home are exclusively cared for by family members.
The PFCC model seeks to reduce caregiver strain, which in turn can help to prevent unnecessary hospitalizations and prevent or delay the use of nursing homes, says AARP.
“Good care for older people with complex, chronic care needs and functional limitations requires a team of health and social service professionals, including direct care workers,” says AARP, adding that collaborative approaches integrate family caregivers into the care team, and engage them as “partners in care. “Care and supportive services for older adults and their family caregivers are accessible, comprehensive, continuous over time, and coordinated among providers and across care settings.”
In order to promote the movement and help make it commonplace in health care and LTSS delivery, public policies should support PFCC’s key elements and provide sufficient resources and supportive technology to address coordination and continuity of care, says AARP.
Read the full report here.
Written by Alyssa Gerace