Culture change towards person-centred care

What is person-centred care?

Person-centred care is a philosophy that recognizes that individuals have unique values, personal history and personality and that each person has an equal right to dignity, respect, and to participate fully in their environment.

The ultimate goal of person-centred care is to create partnerships among care home staff, people with dementia and their families, to enhance the quality of life and the quality of care of people with the disease. Services and supports are designed and delivered in a way that is integrated, collaborative, and mutually respectful of all persons involved.

Person-centred care in long-term care homes

Most people with dementia want to live in their own homes for as long as possible. The reality is that many will move to a long-term care home.

In fact, 57% seniors living in a residential care home have a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease and/or other dementia1 , and 70% of all individuals diagnosed with dementia will die in a long-term care home.2

Long-term care homes have been traditionally designed like extensions of hospitals, based on a medical model, focusing on tasks and the needs of the organization rather than the needs of the residents and their families.

While our culture change initiative focuses on working with others to improve the experiences of people with dementia living in long-term care homes, the process and outcomes of this work are relevant to conversations about quality of life at all stages of the disease and throughout the health-care continuum.


Caring for Aged Dementia Care Resident Study (CADRES) of person-centred care, dementia-care mapping, and usual care in dementia: a cluster-randomised trial. Evidence for improved outcomes for people with dementia through provision of person-centred care and dementia-care mapping is largely observational. This study aimed to do a large, randomised comparison of person-centred care, dementia-care mapping, and usual care.


  1. Canadian Institute for Health Information, Caring for Seniors with Alzheimer's Disease and Other Forms of Dementia, August 2010.
  2. Mitchell S, Teno J, Miller S, Mor V: A national study of the location of death for older persons with dementia. JAGS 2005, 53:299-305.

    Last Updated: 11/08/2017