Tips for Integrating Person-centered Approaches into Care Plans

Hello everyone,

Many of you are working on integrating more person-centered approaches into your care plans, and looking for ways that GNAs and other staff can easily access information about the social histories and preferences of residents, which is critical information when caring for people who have dementia. Those “golden nuggets” of information can help caregivers motivate, distract, engage, and calm residents with BPSD.

So how do your current care plans stack up, and what can you do to improve them? Grab a care plan for one of your residents and look for the following:

  1. Does the care plan include resident preferences related to activity, distraction, personal care, and/or specific caregivers? Be specific here. Saying that someone should engage in “an enjoyable activity” is not specific enough. But saying that a resident “enjoys playing cards and listening to jazz music” is very helpful when a caregiver is looking for a way to calm down an agitated resident.
  2. Does the care plan include function focused care approaches? Meaning, do caregivers encourage residents to participate in as much of their care as possible using cueing, role modeling, encouragement, and hand-over-hand technique?
  3. Does the care plan address how to best communicate with the resident? Verbally? Visually? Communication board?
  4. Are environmental preferences included, such as level of stimulation, open area for walking, dislikes large groups, needs privacy for personal care, etc.?
  5. Are there person-centered tips for how to provide care to prevent or decrease specific behaviors, such as noise level, water temperature, time of bath, location for oral care, how meals are presented, etc.?
  6. Is there a plan for care when a challenging behavior does occur? Does the person do best when taken back to her room for quiet? Or does a small group activity work better? Does the person enjoy a hand massage to calm down, or is it better to be hands-off and simply offer a reassuring smile and play music?


Let these guide you as you review and update care plans. Next week, we’ll show you an example of a “Care Plan Snapshot” and a care plan template that you may find helpful as well. We welcome your feedback.


***Lastly, please don’t  forget to send us your DICE examples to win a prize! Please send them to by next Sunday.


Have a great week!

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