This unit discusses what it means to be ‘person-centred’ and why it is important to work with ‘person-centred values.
It also explains the importance of obtaining consent from the individuals you support, encouraging active participation and promoting their wellbeing, which includes respecting their right to make their own decisions.
- Understand person-centred approaches for care and support
- Be able to work in a person centred way
- Be able to establish consent when providing care or support
- Be able to encourage active participation
- Be able to support the individual’s right to make choices
- Support an individual to make informed choices
- Use agreed risk assessment processes to support the right to make choices
- Explain why a worker’s personal views should not influence an individual’s choices
- Describe how to support an individual to question or challenge decisions concerning them that are made by others
- Be able to support the individual’s well-being
- Explain how an individual’s identity and self-esteem are linked with well-being
- Describe attitudes and approaches that are likely to promote an individual’s well-being
- Support an individual in a way that promotes a sense of identity and self-esteem
- Demonstrate ways to contribute to an environment that promotes well-being
- Recognise and respond to changes in physical and mental health
- Explain the importance of good nutrition and hydration
Person-centred values means treating the individuals that you support as an equal partner in their own care provision and have an important role deciding how they are supported.
The interests of the individual should always remain at the centre of all the work we do.
Some of the values associated with a person-centred approach include rights, dignity, identity, individuality, respect, privacy, choice and independence.
It is important to work in a way that embeds person-centred values because it allows the individual to feel valued and respected.
An individual receiving care often has the most expertise in understanding what their own needs, preferences and wishes are and so should be treated as an expert when it comes to their own care planning.
Working in a person-centred way can help an individual to feel human and that their views and opinions are being listened to. This, in turn, can have a positive effect on their own identity, self-worth, self-esteem and self-confidence.
In addition, a person-centred approach respects the rights of the individual and gives them control in their life, rather than becoming a passive receiver of care.
Risk-taking is a very important part of a person-centred approach.
In the past individuals in the care system have been encouraged to be risk-averse or even been told they cannot take risks in order to protect them and because they were deemed not to have the capacity to make decisions.
However, we all take risks in our day-to-day lives – it is simply a part of living – and individuals in adult care should be no different.
Unless there is a Mental Capacity Assessment (MCA) or Deprivation of Liberty Safeguard (DOLS) in place, an individual has the right to make their own life choices even if it means taking risks.
Care staff can provide factual information and help them to assess the risks but ultimately the choice is down to the individual
Care plans can be used as a tool to help work in a person-centred way because they contain all the information about individual’s care, wishes, preferences and needs.
This means that all employees working with the individual have all the information they need to provide the care that the individual requires.
Care plans should be written and reviewed in collaboration with the individual. This gives them the opportunity to take an active role in the support they receive and ensures their voice is heard.
An individual’s history, preferences, wishes and needs are essential to providing them with the best quality care.
You can find out this information from many sources.
The best source is the individual themselves as they are best placed to know what their wants and needs are.
You can also find out information about an individual from their family and friends. The people closest to them and who have known them longest will be able to provide a lot of data.
Professionals such as the individual’s GP, nurse, psychologist, dietitian, previous care workers and managers will also be able to provide a lot of information about the individual.
2.2 Apply person-centred values in day to day work taking into account the history, preferences, wishes and needs of the individual
By reading an individual’s care plan and getting to know them, you will be able to apply person-centred values in your day-to-day work.
This simply means ensuring that you keep the individual’s desires and needs at the centre of all the work you do and treat them with dignity and respect.
When providing care or support to an individual, establishing their consent is very important because it is both a legal requirement and respects the individual’s right to refuse to care if they wish to.
You can establish consent by asking an individual if they are okay with you proceeding with an activity or action.
If you cannot readily establish consent, you should speak to your manager for further advice.
All individuals have the right to refuse care and support and you must respect this.
If you feel that the individual does not have the capacity to refuse consent, for example if they are not able to understand the implications of refusing care then you should pass this information onto your manager too.
Active participation is a way of working that promotes an individual’s right to be included in their care planning and live their lives as independently as possible.
This means that the individual is an active participant in deciding how their care is delivered rather than a passive receiver.
This is beneficial to the individual because they will have more control over their care and their lives, which can make them feel valued and consequently raise their self confidence and self esteem.
There are several potential barriers to active participation that you should be aware of.
The individual who is receiving care may have limited capacity to understand and make decisions about their care. Similarly, they may not have the motivation or desire to take an active role in the planning and delivery of their care.
Also, physical disabilities can limit an individual’s opportunities to participate in certain activities.
Poorly-trained staff can be a barrier to active participation if they do not attempt to get an individual involved or their attitudes and behaviours do not promote person-centred values.
In addition, inertia by both the individual and their staff can lead to active participation not being encouraged or implemented. Sometimes it can be hard to change set routines.
Agreed ways of working and company culture can sometimes prevent active participation. In extreme cases, this can be classed as institutional abuse.
There are several ways that these barriers can be reduced and active participation encouraged.
First and foremost, it is important that staff have received the proper training and have the correct attitudes and behaviours. A person centred approach should demonstrated by all staff and be ingrained in the company culture and agreed ways of working.
Staff should encourage the individual to take an active role in their care. This can be done in a variety of ways, such as explaining the benefits to them, asking for their preferences or exploring ways to motivate them.
It should not be assumed that individuals who may lack capacity in one area of their care cannot make decisions in other areas.
Where physical disabilities may prevent an individual from participating in an activity, other opportunities should be explored. For example if an individual that is confined to a wheelchair wants to play basketball, their staff should support them to locate a wheelchair basketball group.
As a care worker, you will often find yourself tasked with supporting an individual to make informed choices.
When you do this, you stick to the facts and avoid letting your personal beliefs and values bias their decision because ultimately the choice is theirs alone to make. This includes being non-judgmental if they make a choice that you may not agree with.
Information should be provided to the individuals that you support in a way that they can understand. You should also communicate with them in a way that meets their needs and preferences.
Risk assessment is the process of identifying and evaluating the risks associated with a particular action and their likelihood of occurring.
By following the risk assessment process, an individual can gain a factual awareness of the risks involves, which can then be assessed in the decision-making process.
By documenting a risk assessment that you have created with and individual, you will have evidence that you have promoted active participation, respected the individual’s right to make choices and assessed the risks involved.
This question has been comprehensively answered previously in the personal development unit.
To summarise, you should not influence an individual’s choices with your own personal views as it is unprofessional and displays a lack of respect for the individual to make their own choices.
5.4 Describe how to support an individual to question or challenge decisions concerning them that are made by others
If yourself or others make decisions concerning an individual, you should always ask them if they agree and are happy with it. It is also good practice to ask if they fully understand and ask if they have any questions or require further clarity.
Doing so encourages active participation and ensures that you are taking a person centred approach.
If an individual does not fully understand why a decision has been made or disagrees with it, they should be supported to question or challenge it. They can do this themselves or with the support of other professionals, such as an independent advocate.
Well-being is a feeling of comfort and contentment in an individual’s life and is intrinsically linked to their identity and self-esteem.
Many factors contribute towards well-being, including spiritual, emotional, socio-economic, cultural and sexual. These factors also make up an individual’s personal identity, which is how they see themselves and the values that are important to them.
Self-esteem is the the confidence an individual has in their own worth and abilities. If an individual does not feel valued, it can result in them not valuing themselves leading to low self-esteem.
If an individual is unable to have control over their own identity, for example if they cannot make their own life choices or express themselves in the way that they want, then their well-being and self-esteem ultimately suffer.
You can promote an individual’s well-being by taking the right attitudes and approaches when working with them.
The more aspects of their life that they are happy and content with, the better their well-being will be.
You should always be positive and encourage an individual take an active role in their own care and to express themselves however they wish.
You should always be compassionate, understanding and empathetic and be non-judgmental, even if you do not agree on a personal level with the choices they make.
Listen to what the individual tells you and if they have ideas about things that may make them happier, actively support them to achieve them.
To support an individual in a way that promotes a sense of identity and self-esteem, you should encourage them to be themselves.
Seeking others that have similar values and ideals can also be useful as being part of a group identity can encourage acceptance and promote self-esteem.
You should always respect the way that an individual chooses to live their life, even if you do not agree with it yourself.
An environment that promotes well-being also promotes identity and self esteem as well as respect for the lifestyles and choices of other.
This can be achieved by having properly trained staff and an organisational culture that supports the well-being of individuals.
Environmental factors that contribute to the well-being of individuals includes temperature, lighting, noise levels, comfortable seating/bedding, clean clothing and a relaxed atmosphere.
Staff should communicate with individuals using their preferred methods and show compassion understanding and empathy.
You should be able to recognise changes in an individual’s health (both physical and mental) and be able to respond accordingly.
Changes in health can drastically reduce an individual’s well-being.
Signs of deteriorating health can include:
- Change in eating habits (e.g. loss of appetite or binge eating)
- Self isolation
- Change in behaviour
- Loss of mobility
You should respond to them according to your organisation’s agreed ways of working – in most cases this will involve reporting your concerns to your manager.
You may also need to contact professional health services such as the individual’s GP, psychologist, NHS direct or emergency services.
Good nutrition and hydration is an essential part of well-being.
A healthy, well-balanced diet can contribute to looking and feeling healthy and bolster the immune system making an individual less susceptible to illness and disease. It can also keep the body strong.
In contrast, poor nutrition can lead to illness, disease and even death.
Similarly, humans can only survive for a few days without water so it is important to stay well hydrated.
You may be required to complete food and fluid intake charts for some individuals that you support so that you have an accurate record of what they have consumed. As well as evidencing that you are looking after the individual correctly, they can also be used by professionals to identify any gaps in food and drink intake.