Office for the Aging

 

What Matters to You Day: June 6

People who provide care often ask the people they care for “What is the matter?” but they rarely ask, “What matters to you?”

Encouraging both formal and informal caregivers to ask the second question is the goal of international “What Matters to You?” Day, held each year in June. “What Matters to You?” Day involves a person-centered approach to care that aims to spark meaningful discussions between older adults receiving care about their wishes and desires and those who are providing care.

These discussions can benefit care recipients and caregivers in all settings including nursing homes and hospitals, physicians’ offices, community-based programs and services that support older adults, and formal and informal home care, among others.

Asking “What matters to you?” allows care recipients and caregivers to engage in mutual decision-making to build stronger relationships. Engaging in meaningful discussions empowers those who are receiving care, improves the quality of support caregivers can provide by personalizing care plans, and also makes caregivers’ work more fulfilling, mitigating caregiver burnout.

All it takes to participate in “What Matters to You?” Day is a meaningful conversation between a caregiver and a person receiving care. The topics of these conversations can range from the values and activities that are important to them to smaller, day-to-day care needs that improve quality of life.

These conversations do not have to stop after June 6—caregivers and care recipients will benefit the most if these discussions are integrated into everyday practices and programs.