Just as the phrase “person centred” suggests, it’s all about putting the person at the centre of decisions which relate to their life. The ultimate aim of a person centred approach is to understand what the person wants and needs to live their own, personally defined, good life.
This ongoing process involves listening, thinking together with their family and friends, coaching, sharing ideas and seeking feedback to ensure they are supported towards their personal goals, even as they evolve and change.
When supporting a person with epilepsy, safety is often a concern. It's important to ensure that discussions are balanced between, firstly, what is important TO the person, and then what is important FOR the person.
A good example of this is Ben, who says his privacy whilst bathing is really important TO him. He will however readily acknowledge that his safety is very important FOR him as well.
Together with his family and support worker, they implemented the following strategy:
- OT assessment that recommended a mobile bath seat that can be used when Ben is feeling tired
- Removal of glass shower screen, and replacement with plastic shower curtain
- Recognising that Ben had a higher incidence of seizure activity in the afternoon, so organising showers in the morning with the support worker
- Agreement that Ben will sing/talk during the entire duration of the shower, while the support worker waited outside the bathroom, ready to enter the moment Ben stopped singing/talking
Ben's support needs are then documented in the EMP.
Person Centered Planning from 87amanda
It is important that all EF trainers understand person-centred practices and espouse this in training. This approach underpins the disability sector today, and is one of the founding philosophies of the NDIS and the self managed funding model.
The language used in this approach is important. We never use the word 'fit' to describe a seizure. Even if the person living with epilepsy uses this term, we use the word 'seizure'. A quick summary of other preferred terms is below: