I think it was my 2nd staff meeting, during the section where we are getting updates on each client ’s care and their well-being I heard someone say person-centered care. I perked up because I wasn’t sure what they were talking about but I could tell that I was going to like it.  I asked them to back up and explain to me what person-centered care meant. After they explained that person-centered care is at the center of all that we do at Matrix and is the core of every resident plan of care. Person-centered care means, everything we do for the client is based upon THEIR specific needs, desires and is what best fits them, not us.


Core Characteristics of Person-Centered Care are:

  • Resecting and Valuing the individual as a full member of society
  • Providing individualized emotional and physical spaces for care that are in tune with people’s changing needs
  • Understanding the perspective of the person in all care and activities
  • Providing supportive opportunities for social engagement to help people live their life and experience well-being.


Going over this material brought a quote to mind, so I looked it up and found out who said it. I think it describes the essence of person-centered care.

“A good physician treats the disease; a great physician treats the patient who has the disease.” – Sir William Osler

It is more than knowing how to care for someone who has a specific illness. Understanding the person and the context of their illness. It is taking into consideration the whole story. Each and every one of us is more than a specific illness or disease and what is right for one of us may not be what is right for the other. Understanding this is person-centered care.

Person-Centered Care Language

When speaking to our clients or residents caregivers need to be mindful of the terms used not to be dehumanizing.   Here are some examples:            

                         INSTEAD OF:                                                                                           TRY SAYING:

Suffering from or victim of Living with
Allow Encourage/offer help with
Diapers/ pampers panties / briefs / protective underwear
She’s a falls risk There’s a good chance she might fall
Behavior problems Having difficulty with
Transport Help assist/help go to
Sit down your going to fall May I help you walk?
She’s a 2 person transfer She needs the help of a couple of people to  move
Sorry that’s not my job I don’t do that Let me see how I can help you
I/We can’t do that/that’s not allowed Let’s try to figure a way/ let’s try to figure this out

Is person-centered care the norm?

The answer no but on a more positive note, it is becoming more available. Even though the term is relatively new in the industry, it embodies a way of thinking and a value system that is as old as humanity, even if it is not the most common practice.  It is simply about doing things with people and not to them.

We here at Matrix/grace homes are dedicated to creating environments that become places where elders can continue to live and, most importantly, make their own choices and have control over their daily lives. This kind of care not only enhances the quality of lives of our residents or clients but also for our staff. It promotes a more intimate, empathetic approach that overall increases a sense of community and spirit of love for everyone involved.


To learn more about joining our team and providing compassionate care services:


  • Apply by submitting an application via fax:  952-525-0506 Attn: HR Manager
  • use this link  http://bit.ly/work4matrix

Please direct any specific inquiries to Elizabeth, our HR Manager,  by calling 952-525-0505

“We’re There For You.”