Person-Centered Thinking

All of our services include the use of person-centered planning. The service is designed around the support needs and preferences of the individual we support.  The service environment is matched to the lifestyle preference of the individual who is requesting a service. For instance, does the person benefit from an urban or rural setting, animals in the home, and the need for a structured setting or preference for a more “laid-back” lifestyle? All of these preferences, and many more, are considered before making a match. If the individual needs or benefits from assistance with decision-making, a family member that the individual trusts will be asked to assist in deciding which environment would best suit the individual’s strengths and needs. The individual service plan is written after the interviews, trial visits, and consultations with knowledgeable parties have been completed.

Person-Centered Planning approaches vary, but according to O’Brien and Lovett in Finding a Way Toward Every Day Lives (1996), they are all characterized by the following 5 elements:

The person at the focus of planning and those who love the person are the primary authorities on the person’s life direction. The essential questions are “Who is this person?” and “What community opportunities will enable this person to pursue his or her interests in a meaningful way?”

Person-Centered Planning aims to change common patterns of community life. It stimulates community hospitality and enlists community members in assisting focus people to define and work toward a desirable future. It helps create positive community roles for people with disabilities.

Person-Centered Planning requires learning through shared action, collaborative action, and fundamentally challenges practices that separate people and perpetuate controlling relationships.

Honest Person – Centered Planning can only come from respect for the dignity and completeness of the focus person (as he/she is).

Assisting people to define and pursue a desirable future tests one’s clarity, commitment and courage.

Wall Residences family providers and staff are offered training in Person-Centered Practices and has a certified Person Centered Thinking trainer on staff.  In addition all staff have access to an extensive library kept at the Wall Residences offices on the principles of Person-Centered Planning, Person First Language, Positive Behavioral Support and Building Community (presentations, publications, books, DVDs), including the work of the following people (not all inclusive):

Al Condeluci, Marsha Forest, Susan Burke Harriston, Herb Lovett, John McKnight, Connie O’Brien, John O’Brien, David Pitonyak, Jack Pearpoint, Thomas Pomeranz, Michael Smull, Kathie Snow.

For more information on Person Centered Thinking, please email Rebecca Ledingham at the link below: