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How to enjoy football when you are 90!

Updated: Nov 3

7 ways to lead person-centred care!


‘Come on Andy! Shoot at goal!’ the man said quietly as he was sitting on the side lines of the football pitch one Saturday afternoon.


The man was my 90-year-old Dad sitting in his wheelchair wrapped in a blanket, coat, hat and gloves to keep out the cold. He had played, watched, lived and loved football for over 80 years.

He couldn’t see the football on the television anymore but here he was watching a live match in the local park.

Andy was his carer he talked to every day about football and who had encouraged him to come and watch this game. The logistics of getting him there were enormous but with person-centred care all of this had been achieved.


This is person-centred care in action but what exactly is it?


‘Person-centred care involves tailoring a person's care to their interests, abilities, history and personality’ – The Alzheimer’s Society


‘In person-centred care the emphasis is placed on WHO the patient is, rather than what condition they are presenting with’ (Robin Kerr).


The health and well-being of the person is the focus not their condition or illness.

It is suggested that staff get a greater sense of job satisfaction if they have the opportunity to work with someone who shares their hobbies and interests.


How can you lead your team to deliver great person-centred care?


Here are 7 ways:


Embed person-centred care approaches - makes these approaches at the centre of everything you do, from the general day-to-day routines to one-off activities. Lead and coach your team to understand anything is possible. The health and well-being of the person is the focus, not their condition or illness.

Communicate the vision - every minute of every day so that your team know where they are heading 'we will put every person at the centre of everything we do'.

Enable staff - support staff, give them the resources they need, give them the time to deliver great person-centred care, all of the time.

Give permission - to your staff. Make sure they know that person-centred care is central to their thinking when you are present and when you are not. Then they can make the right decisions without having to refer to someone else.

Be a role model - for person-centred care - live by it every day and demonstrate it to your team. They will watch you, learn from you and do it too.

Positive risk taking - assess the risk, minimise it and do it. Yes, activities such as swimming and riding a bike could bring risks to the person but minimise the risk by clear actions and the feel-good factor for that person will trump the risk every time.

Measure outcomes - ask yourself what does great person-centred care do? Improve physical and mental health of the person, engage and motivate staff.... Measure, evaluate and improve.


Person-centred care is so crucial to ensure everyone including my Dad can live their lives to the full.


By the way, Andy and his team won the match! Thanks to Andy my Dad talked about that game for months afterwards to everyone.


That was the last football match he watched.


Now that is great person-centred care!




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