In the December 2017 issue of the Harbor Light, we discussed the overall programming in the new Martha Jane Phillips Starr Memory Care Residence, and briefly mentioned the person-centered model of care that our residence will use. In this article, we hope to discuss that model in more detail, answering any questions you may have and highlighting the reasoning and importance behind this type of care.

The idea for this model of care came from a major industry culture change, years ago, where staff fit into resident routines rather than residents fitting into staff routines. Simply put, it is about continually putting residents first in the organization chart. With an increasing industry emphasis on person-centered care, many organizations have embraced this model of care — a type of “household care,” where we count on workers who can successfully function in different roles, pitch in where needed, and deliver superior resident care.

This model is known by several different names (universal worker, personal assistant, household assistant, care companion, and more), but regardless of the term, it is important to recognize that these workers play a vital role in the lives of our residents. Not only do they provide faster, personalized service, but they are also able to form important relationships with many residents.

Traditionally, these workers perform their duties in teams and handle personal care, housekeeping, laundry, food preparation, and a variety of activities, as will be done in the new Starr Memory Care Residence. The idea is that they can provide for any need that residents may have. As with all of Plymouth Harbor, but especially in the memory care residence, employees are encouraged to solve problems across job descriptions on behalf of the resident. Additionally, as staff schedules remain consistent over 12-hour shifts, residents are able to feel a sense of familiarity and community.

“We truly wish for the Starr Memory Care Residence to feel like home to our residents,” says Joe Devore, Vice President of Health Services. “This model of care allows us to take that sense of home and independence to a higher level. It won’t feel as if a nurse is helping them with their daily tasks, but rather a friend or a family member.”