Valuing People: The preferences, needs and values of people living with dementia and their carers to lead decision making in dementia care

12 June, 2014

Alzheimer’s Australia has launched, Valuing People, an innovative, online organisational self-assessment tool at the National Gallery of Victoria, on Thursday 12 June, for organisations seeking to achieve excellence in person-centred care.

Kate Swaffer, Chairperson of Alzheimer’s Australia Dementia Advisory Committee, said Valuing People will enhance the delivery of personalised services to the increasing number of people living with dementia in the community while the resource has been found to be helpful in assessing the care provided to all consumers of community care including those living with dementia.

"Valuing People is a unique resource which is informed by the perspectives of consumers, families, direct care staff and management to provide a complete picture of how well the organisation is taking a person-centred approach to care" Ms Swaffer said.

An easy-to-use online resource, Valuing People has been developed in collaboration with community aged care providers who have found it to be an invaluable resource in establishing a person-centred approach to service delivery.

Person-centred care is an approach to service development and service delivery that sees services provided in a way that is respectful of, and responsive to, the preferences, needs and values of people and those who care for them.

Valuing People has been developed to enable organisations to assist providers determine how well they are applying a person-centred approach to all that they do, supporting the principle that an organisational-wide approach is required to achieve person-centred care.

The resource is free and available online for any community aged care provider regardless of size, service mix, cultural context or location.

The creation of the evidence-based national resource tool has been developed with the input of a:

  • Comprehensive review of the literature on person-centred care
  • Two pilots involving community aged care providers
  • Independent evaluation
  • Contribution from other experts including consumers and a change management consultant

As an organisational self-assessment tool, Valuing Peopleprovides a sound framework for community aged care providers to assess their whole approach to person-centred care. The Value People framework is comprised of five guiding values which constitute elements and actions that describe how a person-centred approach for people living in the community can be achieved.

Following the completion of the online surveys by the various groups Valuing People provides a report generated online that will assist organisations identify areas of strength and opportunities for improvement. It also provides advice on approaching the change management process.

Dr David Sykes, General Manager, Learning & Development at Alzheimer’s Australia Vic, said the national online resource demonstrates innovation in the delivery of care for people living with dementia in Australia and their carers by providing organisations with the opportunity to review their current approach in a wholistic way.

"The tool enables aged care providers to achieve excellence in dementia practice by providing a person-centred framework to strengthen the flexibility of their services and maximise consumer outcomes," Dr Sykes said.

Valuing People has been developed with funding from Alzheimer’s Australia Vic, the National Quality Dementia Care Initiative and the Federal Government’s Encouraging Best Practice in Aged Care (EBPAC) program. For more information on Valuing People, go to www.valuingpeople.org.au.