At your Residential Care Facility for the Elderly (RCFE), you want to provide top-level care to each of your residents. That usually means tailoring the services and healthcare you provide to that person’s preferences and needs.
In fact, many RCFEs now follow a model specifically called resident-centered or person-centered care. Applying this approach can improve quality of life for your residents, reduce the resistance your team encounters, and help your facility stand out from competitors.
Understanding Resident-Centered Care
Resident-centered care means personalizing what you offer to each of your residents. Rather than having a set plan that everyone at your facility needs to follow, your team stays flexible.
The goal of resident-centered care is to maximize the quality of life and independence of the individual while still providing the support that they need. That means everything from letting them eat when and what they want to providing opportunities for them to socially engage according to their preferences.
This might sound like it creates a lot of additional work for your team — and it absolutely can. But person-centered care can help to eliminate one of the biggest challenges for RCFEs: pushback from residents. Your team can spend their time supporting your residents rather than trying to force them into a routine or care plan that doesn’t work for them.
When residents understand why certain guidelines are in place — like the requirement to take their daily medications at the recommended times — they’re often more amenable to complying with them. As a result, two-way communication between your residents and your staff plays a huge role in resident-centered care. When you ask your residents what they want and you implement their requests, they’re much more likely to go along when you tell them what they need.
If your RCFE wants to explore person-centered care — or if you’re already using this approach — there’s another line of communication you should tap. Talk with your insurance provider.
Aligning Your Insurance with Your Resident-Centered Care Model
In some ways, resident-centered care can lower your risk. It might mean tailoring a meal plan for a picky eater rather than having them forgo the few options on offer, for example. That directly limits your risk of a negligence lawsuit if their family observes them rapidly losing weight.
But person-centered care can also increase your liability. In the effort to maximize your residents’ independence and align with their preferences, you may allow them to do things that could expose you to issues. Your team might let a resident use a cane rather than a walker when they’re indoors, for example. But if that resident trips and falls, you could find your RCFE in legal trouble.
That’s where your insurance coverage should step in. The key here is to communicate with your insurance professional about your RCFE’s approach to resident care. They can help you assess the risks you face based on how you care for each individual resident. Then, they can customize your coverage to provide the highest level of protection possible.
Ultimately, resident-centered care promises better outcomes for residents and, as a result, is gaining popularity among RCFEs. If you’re ready to explore this care model at your own facility, do so in tandem with a talk with an insurance pro. Call our team at (805) 413-5668.