What is the people-centred care and why is important?

Fortunately, the concept of dependent individual has shifted favourably throughout history and at the moment this group is intended to play the most uniform role in society possible.

Although the definition of dependent people may vary from country to country, for IntegraCare project we will use reference from the Spanish law for the Promotion of Personal Autonomy and Care for people in situations of dependency. According to it, we define this collective as any person who, for reasons derived from age, illness or disability, and suffering a lack or loss of physical, mental, intellectual or sensory autonomy and need the support of other people or important aids to carry out basic activities of daily life or, in the case of people with intellectual disabilities or mental illness, other supports for their personal autonomy.

The World Health Organization called for a paradigm shift in how health services are financed, handled and provided in its “Global Strategy on Integrated Human Centred Health Services 2016-2026.” To tackle some of the most pressing challenges facing health systems around the world, such as: ageing populations, urbanization and globalization of unhealthy lifestyles, the implementation of a person-centred care approach at international level has been required. The spread of non-communicable diseases, mental illness and injury; inadequate access to health systems; and lack of accountability by service providers with minimal opportunities to provide quality treatment that corresponds to their customers’ needs and preferences.

Within this context, the promotion of personal autonomy directly relates to the dependent person inclusion (including all areas of life) and should be encouraged with programs that improve functional capacity (physical, cognitive, psycho-affective and social) and with actions that eliminate barriers that hinder independent living. Making this system effective requires creating the conditions, services, etc., that can contribute with an adequate stimulation to the person promoting the initiatives, the establishment of personal goals and the participation in the actions to achieve them, that help the person trust in himself/herself and value his/her achievements, and to enhance self-regulation throughout his/her active life.

Social-health care for dependent people has for a long time been based on these people’s definition of “need”. The person’s critical focus is directed towards achieving changes in all aspects of the person’s quality of life and well-being, based on full respect for their integrity and freedoms, their desires and preferences, and counting on their successful involvement.

The integrated person-centred care concept is an indicator of quality and strives to achieve the highest levels of inclusion for people with functional diversity, reflected on the promotion of personal autonomy, promotion of active and healthy life of dependent people. However, the reality does not usually base on these approaches, largely because each professional who assists the dependent person is a specialist in his/her field (psychologists, social workers, physiotherapists, nurses, doctors, etc.) and tries to improve the user life from that area point of view. Being professionals working in the same organization, or professionals who provide their service to the dependent person from independent organizations, only an integrated person-centred approach and a coordination of activities can lead to a real inclusion of these people in all the spheres of life.

The target public are:

  • Health/social care professionals and volunteers: all people that professionally or as volunteers work with dependent people (disabled people, older people, seriously ill people, etc.)
  • Health and social organisations.
  • Health and social care professionals’ trainers: these trainers will be direct users of the training programme as well.

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