Do words matter? In long-term care, they can make all the difference. How we speak with and about people is part of delivering appropriate, respectful and inclusive care. The Ontario CLRI and Behavioural Supports Ontario (BSO) in collaboration with Machealth, have launched an eLearning course to equip LTC teams with practical knowledge of how to implement person-centred language in LTC.
Consider the words “facility” and “home.” “Facility” elicits images of cold, sterile hospitals. “Home” is a warmer term that depicts safety and community. Where would you rather live?
“It’s no easy task to change the way people speak to and about people who are living with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, yet change is absolutely necessary. In fact, the way people speak about older adults in general tends to diminish their sense of value, no matter where they live or what health challenges they may or may not have.” – Ron Droulliard, LTC resident & Person-Centred Language Expert Panel member
Person-centred language ensures that respectful, life-affirming and inclusive language is used when referring to and interacting with people who communicate via responsive behaviours/personal expressions associated with dementia, complex mental health, substance use and/or other neurological conditions, and their care partners.
Simple wording swaps can promote dignity and respect in LTC:
Instead of: Try:
(LTC) Facility LTC Home
Staff Team Member
The use of person-centred language in LTC homes can make all the difference in delivering quality resident and family-centred care, while nurturing an atmosphere of respect — register to take the free course!!