Helping Individuals to make Informed Choices

If someone makes an informed choice/decision they have investigated the positive and negative implications of the decision together with considering any alternatives. I.e. they have been given appropriate information to weigh up the implications of a range of alternatives before then making a choice in the light of this information. If they are making an uninformed choice/decision they are making a choice without knowing its full implications or about the alternatives open to them.

To promote the dignity of all individuals they should be fully involved in any decision that affects their care, including personal decisions (such as what to eat, what to wear and what time to go to bed), and wider decisions about their care or support.

How you can help individuals to make an informed choice (Question 7.3a)

There are a number of ways you can help and individual make an informed choice.

  • You can explain information.
  • Find people who can share their experiences or ask for help of specialist workers.
  • Support them to involve other people they trust like friends or relatives.
  • Use a method of communication that the individual is familiar with e.g. pictures / objects of reference/ sign language
  • An advocate might be an additional option to help someone to make a decision where they need additional help to understand and consider their options and the risks.

For example; If you were to help support someone to make and communicate an informed decision on whether they wish to have a cup of tea, coffee or a glass of juice. You could support them to make a decision by:

  • Showing the person all of the options and enable them to point to the one they wish to choose
  • Providing the person with pictures of the alternatives so that they can hold up the appropriate one when they want a drink
  • Providing each alternative in a different shaped cup, mug or glass so that they associate a particular drink with a particular piece of crockery. This is called using an object of reference.

An individual may be able to make day-to-day decisions for example what to wear and what they want to eat, but not able to make complex decisions for example about money or medical issues. In situations where you are not entirely sure about the individual’s capacity, discuss this with your line manager.

Use to answer question 7.3a and 7.5b of the Care Certificate

What rights does an individual have when making an informed choice

Choices can only be made if people have information. If they know the options, the risks and possible implications they can make the choice that is right for them. This is ‘informed’ choice. Sometimes decisions are difficult even when an individual has all the information they can.

People can make informed choices if they are not given information about the consequences of the options being considered. People have a right to:

  • Make a decision with which others may disagree
  • Change their minds
  • Make mistakes
  • Take risks

Use to answer question 7.3a of the Care Certificate


Picture2Use to answer question 7.3a of the Care Certificate


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