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Taking risks are part of everyday life for everyone. We start taking risks from very early on in life when we make decisions. Do I cross the road now by running or do I wait a minute for oncoming traffic to pass? Taking risks put you in control of what you do and will in some way contribute to your sense of self worth. Unfortunately the reason many people go into a care home or start receiving care at home is because their family feels that the risks involved in them living independently or without help is too high.
By providing the individual with care family members often wants to remove all opportunities for risk taking by replacing it with somebody else doing the tasks.
The individual might feel that their right to make their own choices is not being respected if all risks are removed. The fact that an individual needs help with some of their day to day living does not mean that they are not allowed to take any risks.
It is very important to ensure that the individual participate as much as possible in their own day to day living and being encouraged to do things for themselves. When planning the individual’s care it is important to explain all the possible pros and cons of each decision and to allow the individual to make the choice by themselves. Once they have made the decision all steps should be taken to ensure that their choice can be implemented with as little risk as possible.
A thorough risk-assessment should be done as part of the person-centred care-plan.
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