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Helping people live the life they want
Positive Futures’ “The Life I Want” process gives people power to transform their own lives
The story of 3 ladies who completed “Planning Live” shows how this approach gives people power to transform their own lives.show more
A pioneering project is helping people with a learning disability, acquired brain injury or autism to tailor their own support for a better life.
“The Life I Want” approach was introduced in Positive Futures in 2014.
It has helped to give three women supported by Lakeland Supported Living Service in Fermanagh greater control of their own lives.
Positive Futures’ Chief Executive, Agnes Lunny, said: “The key difference between this and any other kind of support is that it looks not just at what’s important for the person, but what’s important to them. What’s important for them might be, for example, making sure that they’re safe. But what’s important to them are the things that make life worth living. It might be as ambitious as a desire to visit New York, or it might be more modest, like wanting to go to church on Sunday.”
One of the three women involved in the pilot project in Fermanagh, Breege Corrigan, wanted to go to bingo. Now, she attends every week with a staff member she chose to support her. Eveline Elliott has an interest in gardening. Now, she’s involved in her own gardening project, again with a staff member of her choice. Davida Monaghan is looking for a placement as a volunteer and is being supported to do so.
All three women – who share a house – have been the key players in deciding what’s best for them.
The process starts by bringing together a team including family members, friends, professionals and other relevant people to take part in what’s known as a Planning Live event, which takes place over two days. It uses a number of person–centred tools to decide what’s working or not working in a person’s life. It then establishes what a perfect week would look like from that person’s point of view. The final step is to hold a second event to use all the information gathered to provide a package of support that’s just enough to enable people to fulfil their wishes and lead more independent lives. By avoiding “over–supporting” someone, it hands over control to the individual in question.
By empowering the people we support to make their own decisions and by challenging our own thinking about how we can fulfil these wishes, the people we support can achieve greater choice and independence to live life as they choose.
Some examples of this include:
The three women involved being able to spend time in each other’s company without staff involvement.
Davida and Breege being able to use their existing staff support to enable them to go on a three–day break.