Honoring Preferences, Minimizing Risks

Almost every preference comes with a risk for nursing home residents in the COVID era. For too long, staying safe from contracting the COVID virus meant nursing home residents lived in isolation. The situation has improved somewhat with widespread access to vaccines and boosters. Yet nursing homes continually face tricky trade-offs responding to risky resident preferences.

Even in the best of times, honoring preferences presents dilemmas regarding the balance between risks and benefits. To help nursing home staff navigate these challenges, Liza Behrens, PhD, RN, Assistant Professor, Ross and Carol Nese College of Nursing at Penn State, recommends using the four-step process described in our guidebook Honoring Preferences When the Choice Involves Risk and in this infographic.

A member of the Preference Based Living team, Liza says, “We need to find ways to honor preferences, build in safeguards for risks, and creatively come up with individual solutions.” 

Learn how to develop creative solutions to honor preferences that may involve risk:

Have questions? Dr. Behrens welcomes your questions about honoring preferences that involve risk. Please feel free to contact her by email at: llb237@psu.edu

Get involved! Dr. Behrens wants to hear from you–click the link below for more details about her upcoming study and how you can become a participant! Join Dr. Liza Behrens in her new study!