The increasing need for bridging in the complex and interactive world in which we live is particularly compelling in the case of fields such as ageing and disabilities where contextualization and intersectoral collaboration are paramount. Such bridging involves both conceptual (ethical and scientific) formulations and the engagement of real people and groups.
An emerging approach that may be promising at both of these levels is person-centred health care. The goal and focus of care in this approach is the person in context. This involves health care of the person (of the totality of the person’s health, including its ill and positive aspects), health care for the person (aimed not only to the amelioration of symptoms and dysfunctions but also to the fulfilment of the person’s life project), health care by the person (with health professionals extending themselves as full human beings, with high ethical aspirations), and health care with the person (in respectful and empowering collaboration with the person presenting for help).
The implementation of such an approach requires the development of relevant clinical procedures such as person-centred integrative diagnosis as well as the design of policies facilitating the prominent participation of persons in all aspects of health care.