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6.2a Describe how to establish an individual’s communication and language needs, wishes and preferences

To provide person-centred care, you must find out what an individual needs or wants by connecting with them. This means that you must take the time to understand their communication needs right from the outset.

How people communicate depends on a variety of factors such as ability, disability, illness and condition, as well as their own personal preferences. You should try to find out an individual’s way of communicating by talking and listening to them, but sometimes you might need to use other methods.

While you could ask an individual’s family, friends or carer for advice on which communication methods work best, they may also have trouble communicating with the individual in question, so you can’t rely on this method alone. In the next section we will go over some of the other methods you can employ to establish an individual’s communication and language needs.