Unit name: Implement person-centred approaches in care settings
Learning outcome: 5. Be able to support the individual’s right to make choices
Assessment criteria: 5.3 Manage risk in a way that maintains the individual’s right to make choices
You will often be confronted with dilemmas between an individual’s wishes and their safety. For example, an individual may wish to go to the pub for a few drinks with their mates on a Friday night, however, their dementia may mean there is a risk that they could get lost on the way home. In these cases, you should know how to manage risk in a way that maintains an individual’s right to make choices.
It is important to understand that taking risks is part of everyday life for all of us and just because someone is receiving care, these choices should not be taken away from them.
Positive risk-taking empowers individuals to make risky decisions by putting measures in place to reduce or eliminate the risk. This involves performing risk assessment in collaboration with the individual to make it as safe as possible for them to follow through with their choice.
In the example above about the individual wishing to go to the pub, it may be agreed that the benefits outweigh the risks involved – the individual gets social interaction, which is good for their mental health and wellbeing. The risk of them getting lost on their way home could be mitigated by agreeing that they call a taxi and one of the individual’s friends stays with them and ensures that the taxi knows the address of their home before leaving.