• frameworks;
  • older people;
  • person-centred

There is an increasing need to develop a multi-dimensional discussion and critique around the concept of ‘person-centred’ in the context of the delivery of nursing care for older people. As the context of nursing being considered here, it is primarily nurses who should be leading with this discourse, although drawing on a broad range of ideas from outside of nursing. The person-centred movement, commonly believed to originate in the care of those with dementia in the UK, is growing, especially in the UK and Australia, with signs of it moving across parts of Western Europe and North America. Person-centredness has a big emotional appeal to many nurses working with older people, perhaps because it ‘has the right feel’ for them and nurses believe it ‘feels right’ for older people. It has grabbed the attention of many practising nurses in the UK in a way that humanistic nursing theory and the various associated nursing models from previous decades, seemed to have missed.

This paper contributes to the discussion by suggesting that there are conceptual frameworks that nurses can draw on to help them understand and enhance their practice. However, it is suggested that these frameworks are either in their infancy or incomplete and they still need to convince nurses of their utility for day to day practice. It is also pointed out that the underpinning concept of ‘personhood’ has not yet been fully clarified by nursing.