Reducing depression through person-centered care (McKnight’s LTC News)

Here’s my latest article on McKnight’s Long-Term Care News:


Reducing depression through person-centered care

I was speaking about leadership to a group of administrators recently when the discussion turned to person-centered care. “Culture change, the Eden Alternative, whatever you call it,” I said, “things are moving in that direction. MDS 3.0 has the team asking residents questions that staff members would have answered in the past, such as whether or not residents feel depressed.”

We talked about the impact of this and I continued, “In my experience, the nursing home I worked in that was most attentive to the psychosocial needs of the residents was the one that was in the process of becoming an Eden Alternative home.”


I’m not in any way affiliated with the culture change movement, but I certainly noticed the difference in the atmosphere in the Eden facility and its impact on the residents’ mental health. In traditional facilities, an enormous amount of the residents’ psychotherapy time is devoted to addressing how to work in or around the nursing home system if possible, and how to maintain their equanimity and sense of humor if not. This was less of a focus for residents in the Eden home.

When I work with the staff in a traditional nursing home, I’m often an emissary of the residents, delivering their messages in a way that can be heard by the staff. In the Eden facility, there are more emissaries and more people listening to what the residents have to say in the first place. Being heard is essential for good mental health.

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Reducing depression through person-centered care


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