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What is resident-directed and what does it mean for LTC residents?

A facility that is resident-directed uses an interpersonal approach in caring for its residents that comes from the philosophies of dignity, comfort, well-being and respect. This represents a shift from a culture in which the provider and its staff dictate when residents must sleep, eat their meals, shower, and determining what and when they will do for activities, to one that honors the individual schedules and preferences of the resident.

The Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program was created to help restore the balance of power between residents and staff, as well as between residents and their family members.  Residents tend to be inhibited and constrained due to their health status, their reliance on staff and family members, effects from medication, and lack of opportunity to practice complaint resolution. With this information, the LTCOP came about to ensure residents had someone on their side who would help empower them and, if necessary, be their advocate.

Residents who live in a facility that holds to this type of culture are part of decisions regarding their care and their daily routines. A few examples include:

  • Honoring residents’ choice to wake up and go to bed at a time they choose
  • Coordinating with physicians so medication times fit the natural flow of the residents’ day
  • Implementing consistent staff assignment so staff can develop a relationship with residents and gain a better understanding of each residents’ routine, interests, and needs
  • Encouraging residents to participate in their care plan meetings including direct care staff in care plan meetings since direct care staff provide the majority of care and will know the resident’s needs, strengths and routines
  • Identifying what is meaningful to each resident and help them incorporate those activities into their routine
  • Honoring residents’ preferences regarding a comfortable bathing experience