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Dignity in care: Choice and control

Owning a budgerigar, deciding between mince with dumplings or a roast chicken dinner, and going off shopping and buying the items you’ve chosen. Just three examples, shown in this film, of how people with care and support needs can be supported to have choice and control.

The young men with learning disabilities who draw up their preferred shopping list travel to town unsupported, buy the food, come back and cook it, and then eat it. It’s important to take time to understand and know the person, their previous lives and past achievements, and to support people to develop things like ‘life story books’.

If you treat people as equals, you can make sure they remain in control of what happens to them.

Messages for practice

  • Everyone has the right to make choices about how they live and how their support is provided.
  • Staff should get to know the people they support so that they know what their needs and preferences are.
  • People should be supported to do things for themselves rather than having things done for them.
  • Staff should be flexible about the way they support people.

Who will find it useful?

Care staff, commissioners of services, family carers and anyone in the community who can provide dignity by supporting people to have choice and control over their lives.