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Person-Centered Approach

A “person-centered approach” refers to delivering services and supports that are responsive to the individual beneficiary’s needs and preferences.  LTSS supports should be person-centered whether delivered in a traditional FFS system or an MLTSS program.  Person-centeredness is critical to developing a strong plan and should be evident in key processes such as assessments, service planning, discharge planning, and service delivery. 

The Institute of Medicine has identified the following elements of person-centered LTSS:

  • Individualized service planning and delivery
  • Participation of the person and, as appropriate, family members and others chosen by the person in service planning and delivery
  • Consideration of the person’s values, culture, traditions, experiences and preferences in the definition of quality
  • Recognition and support of a person’s self-care capabilities
  • Integration of formal and informal supports

Central to a person-centered approach are several key principles that ensure individual autonomy in services and support plans, according to John O’Brien and Connie Lyle. These include:

  • Community presence. Provide individuals the opportunity to experience the places that define community life.
  • Choice. Help the individual to experience autonomy in both everyday and in larger, life-defining decisions.
  • Competence. Give the individual whatever support is necessary to perform functional and significant activities.
  • Respect. Include opportunities for individuals to hold a valued place or role in the community.
  • Community participation. Provide opportunities for individuals to be part of a network of close personal relationships.

O’Brien and Lyle additionally emphasize that a person-centered approach for providing services and supports is an ongoing activity in which the individual is not only present at planning meetings but is also actively directing the process.



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