As the push for more person centred care continues,
our in-house RN Eileen Ross explores the impact this may have upon how we currently write care plans.

As we shift to a more individualised care regime, will the terminology used in our care records need to change to reflect this? Is a change from third to first person perspective imminent?

Historically, care planning has been done from the third person perspective, e.g. “Eileen likes to have a shower daily”. Whilst the inference is that it is me who wishes to have a shower every day, it is true that it can be interpreted that somebody else has decided that I would like to have my shower daily.

Stakeholders Become More Involved In Care Planning

Ease of access to information via new technologies means that users of aged care services are becoming more informed about their rights, aged care and health in general.

The drive to modernise and personalise care is coming from an emerging group of well-informed residents and their families, as well as peak bodies.

The resident and family’s demographic is changing. Stakeholders have higher expectations and want to be more directly involved in decisions, including the planning of care. This leads us to first person care planning, which looks like “I would like to have a shower every day in the morning”.

Involving residents and their families and representatives directly in care planning can be empowering for both the resident and the carers. If you have input into your own care plan, you will inherently have more control over your daily living activities.

It can also be said that the staff looking after the resident will have a better sense of who this person is, their likes, dislikes and needs. The resident’s history is acknowledged as being rich and valuable, as well as fundamental to understanding the person that you are caring for.

First Person Care Planning involves the resident's history

A Global Shift To First Person Terminology

In the UK, there is currently a push for first person terminology. This has no bearing on funding at all. In fact, UK residents may be required to pay privately in excess of £1100 per week for care. 

This results in two things, a resident population that demands very personalised care, and the freedom for care homes to use whatever terminology their organisation is happy with.

We learned from one UK care provider recently that they actually prefer to use the person’s name in the care plan documentation.

Global Shift to First Person Terminology

Redesigning Care Documentation To First Person Terminology

To acknowledge this change, those within the care industry are now considering whether a change is required in the terminology used in assessments and care plans. We will continue to track this change as it develops, and as the industry as a collective determines whether care documentation in the first person is required to promote person centred care.