The definition of person centred values is treating and seeing people in a care setting as equals, who are involved in decision making to promote an independent way of life and to ensure that the care that is provided is appropriate to their needs. It takes into account service users views and needs and places them, along with their family at the centre of all decision making.
Working in a way that embeds person centred values is important to meet the needs of my service user. With my clients it helps to build relationships with them and their family members to ensure a good quality of life and provide the best possible quality of care. This ranges from me attending to my service users personal care needs in a respectful way and to support them to achieve tasks on their own, to choices of what activities they would like to do that can help them to express their individuality or help them to create new relationships and overcome any feelings of social exclusion or devaluation. I also believe it’s important to respect any religious or cultural beliefs that they may have and support the individual to follow their chosen faith.
Firstly I would look at the way in which I communicate with my service user. If they are verbal the simplest way I find out about the individual is to talk directly to them as it allows them to fully express themselves and make their own decisions. If non verbal then I would communication methods such as makaton, picture cards and visual aids to learn of their likes and dislikes. Another way is to speak with siblings as they could provide information the client may be unaware of or may have forgotten but also so they are included in the building of the care plan and it helps me build an understanding and a relationship with them. Talking with social workers, previous support workers, doctors or any other professional involved in the clients care an also provide information about their preferences and anything that may be important to the individual. With these methods it helps me find as much information as possible about my service user.
In order to take into account the history, preferences, wishes and needs of an individual when planning care and support I would refer to the principles of person centred care. Rather than just supplying a service, each person should be treated as an individual by offering a personalised service specific to their needs and preferences. For example if an individual enjoyed an activity such as walking but needed support to do so I would plan a time for a walk so that the individual would get enjoyment from doing activities they choose and feel valued. Also, they should be treated them with the same dignity and respect you would want for a member family of your own. Refer to support plans to ensure the highest level of person centred care is maintained.
Each individual’s care plan outlines and details the service user’s preferences and day to day requirements so that they receive the specific care and daily support they require from the level of support required with an individual’s personal hygiene and how to do it in a respectful way to what food and activities they like. The information is centred on the individuals wants and needs to ensure independence and choice rather than control, choice should always be offered regardless of importance of the activity or task, therefore each individual’s care plan contributes to working in a person centred way.
The term consent means giving permission to do something or agreement to an action and in a care setting consent is needed for a number of things. With my clients I need to ask for consent for administering medication, for help with bills, finances and banking, help with certain type of care such as bathing and personal hygiene.
It’s important to gain consent for all activities as lack of it could be deemed as abuse as I would forcing someone to perform or to take part in a task or an activity they don’t want to be involved in. Consent however should not just be gained, but the client must fully understand what they are consenting to and any possible implications that the action or task can imply. It is also essential for protecting myself from any legal challenge.
There are a few ways to establish an individual’s consent but it depends upon the individuals preferred communication. The methods I use with my clients are verbal, written notes, visual aids such as picture cards, makaton, some individuals communicate physically with body movements such as a nod or through a representative or advocate. Any of these are forms establishing consent that i would look to use with my clients.
Establishing consent will vary as each individual’s capacity to consent is assessed. If consent cannot be established first steps would be to not carry out the task and document the information. If a person is mentally incapable of providing consent then you should refer to the individuals care/support plan that may have been established at a time when they were capable of making informed decisions. If this fails, consent can be given by next of kin or an advocate however I would ensure my client must be involved as much as possible to adhere to person centred values.
Active participation is a way of working that allows an individual to be completely involved in every aspect of their lives. This could be what my service users have to eat, what they wear when they go out or go to work in, or it could be planning tasks and activities for the week ahead, deciding on where to go such as day trips out or holidays, arranging appointments to the doctors or the dentists and active participation in services that relate to their own care. Helping to be in control of their lives rather that a passive recipient.
Active participation helps individuals by benefitting them in a number of ways. I believe it gives them independence and makes the service user feel in control of their own lives rather than having decisions made for them or having few choices. There are many benefits I’ve noticed such as growth in confidence in social situations, a sense of well being, a sense of achievement of taking control of their lives and I’ve noticed the mental and physical stimulation it also brings. Also encouraging individuals to participate in the planning and arranging of their own care increases their self confidence, independence and it is empowering.
There are many ways to reducing barriers of active participation. In order to reduce any barriers to active participation you have to look at what the barriers could be. They could be lack of confidence or self esteem, a lack of opportunity to activities, difficulty in communication and lack of patience of others. To overcome these barriers I support my service users by offering them choices and in every aspect of their day to day lives and offering them opportunity to plan and do activities they enjoy which improves their confidence.
I think it’s very important to have the patience to listen to service users and take time to understand how they feel and I find by discussing why they feel like this and talking through it can increase their feeling of self esteem. Communication barriers can be overcome by staff development and training, language and makaton are tools that can be learnt, but there other ways like picture cards and hand gestures I use with some service users to offer choices and to make decisions when they are non verbal.
The method I find best to encourage active participation is by communicating and offering choices and then giving praise and encouragement to service users to increase their confidence to then go on to make more decisions in different aspect of their lives for themselves. I find it’s good to look for local events or if they show an interest in a hobby you could find out about local groups that would be prepared to support the individual to participate. You should always highlight the benefits of the activity and getting family members to join in with activities can make a big difference to encouraging participation from individuals.
I would support an individual to make informed choices by giving the individual the full information regarding that decision. I would explain the positive and the negative effects of that decision regardless of my beliefs or views as my personal view should not influence an individual’s choice. The choices and decisions can be as simple offering the full information on items when supporting individuals with shopping, giving information on price and helping to find offers or decisions that may require risk assessments to make the individual fully aware of the any risks that may be involved. I believe all staff in a care setting should help to empower their client by offering the information, knowledge and confidence to make informed decisions.
I think risk taking can be part of an individual’s choices because there is risk in many day to day things that we do. Due to the nature of an individual’s disability, a simple task could be deemed a risk and would need risk assessing to make them fully aware of any potential dangers or threats to the individual’s safety. It’s important to make individuals aware of any risks or hazards
Risk assessment processes are used to make an individual aware of the positive and negative consequences involved when for example taking part in an activity, we look at and record the risks and hazards involved and then decide if the risk is worth taking. However there are benefits that have to be taken in to consideration as new activities promote confidence and empowers individuals to live more independent lives. Having choice is an individual’s right, risk assessments provide support for them to make decisions in the safest way possible.
I believe a worker’s personal views should not influence an individual’s choices because that is taking away their right to make informed choices. My views for example are not fact and should not be used to influence any decisions or life choices. I could inform an individual if a certain food was bad for them and suggest a healthier option however whatever they decide is their choice. Another example is religious or cultural choices and beliefs, my views are my own and I would support them to attend religious or cultural services and acknowledge religious holidays.
Courtney from Study Moose
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