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Person Centered Planning: Focusing on The Individual

When a family member is experiencing a chronic or serious disability or illness or when they are aging and may need extra support and services, person centered planning is often used to help. This is an approach to aid and care that puts the individual first and asks them directly about what they want and need in terms of help. It is the ideal way to deal with these often very difficult situations in care.

Each process will be customized in a different way, and that is why it is person centered. But in general, you will be able to use the following principles to help your loved one or the person in need when it comes to person centered planning.

1. It is important to make sure the individual is the focus of the plans.

At all times and at every point in the decision making process, the individual needs to be at the center. This will include decisions on when the planning will happen and how it will happen. If the person wants to return to certain decisions, that is their choice as well.

2. The individual also invites who they want to the planning and arrangements team.

The planning team will be integral to the success of this plan for your friend or loved one. It is they who will collectively arrange many of the decisions you make. Only the individual at the center of the planning can choose these individuals.

3. It is the team members who will find and improve a natural support system of treatments and individuals.

The team members will spread out to carry out the wishes of the individual. It should always be the individual who directs the projects and processes that the team members organize and arrange.

4. Both formal and informal options of support can be implemented.

The team members and individual should keep in mind that formal services, such as those from adult day caring services and hospitals can be used. But informal services like help from friends and family members can be employed as well.

5. The individual themselves will be able to talk freely about their wants, needs and overall preferences.

To help individuals talk about their own plans and implement ideas, desires and needs, the rest of the team members should ensure that the appropriate accommodations are made for them.

6. Lastly, if an individual needs additional help to make these critical decisions, they will get that help while remaining the center of the decision-making process.

Sometimes, individuals need to have close friends or relatives at their side to help them make a critical decision. This should also be accommodated, but these individuals should never take over the dialogue.