Person-Centered Care and Practices

Person-centered practices are used as part of an ongoing process to help people plan for their future. Through person-centered practices, the focus is on the person, their goals, and their vision of what they would like to do in the future. Person-centered practices generally include tools that prioritize understanding a person’s unique strengths and goals, as well as supported self-direction to understand what is important to and for them.

Keys to Success

When we listen to and understand how to best support a person how they want and need to be supported, our preconceived assumptions about what is important to, and for them, can be put aside. This allows a partnership that focuses on the person, their family, their goals, and their own voice in the outcomes achieved. This process begins by listening carefully.

Person at the Center

Using person-centered practices means that we value a person enough to hold them and their choice, direction, and control at the center of the conversation, and to do so with intention.

7 Elements to Person-Centered Practices 

  • Seeking to understand your current state 
  • Envisioning the future 
  • Understanding strengths and leveraging your abilities and capacities 
  • Exploring challenges and barriers 
  • Tending the future 
  • Asking for help 
  • Stepping into the future

Learning about people 

It turns out that it’s a lot easier to learn about what’s important for someone, than it is to learn about what’s important to them because we are always being told what we should be doing around health and safety (“wear your helmet,” “eat right,” “get lots of exercise,” etc.).  On the other side, when it comes to what is important to a person, it usually takes some careful digging and a little bit of thinking to uncover useful information. 

Routines, good days/bad days, and information building 

Discuss everyday activities and task(s): 

  • The things that provide consistency, comfort, and control. 
  • Examine the organization of the day such as routines (morning and night). 
  • Look for obstacles that interfere with daily routines. 
  • Consider the environmental and personal factors that contribute to good vs. bad days.

Working through negative thoughts  

When someone is expressing a negative thought or talking about a challenging situation, remain as neutral as possible about what might be the best way to help fix the situation.  Remaining uncommitted prevents push back when they hear someone advocating a particular position.


One-Page Profiles

A one-age profile (also known as a one-page description) is a simple and adaptable tool that provides a person the ability to share their personal qualities, values, and supportive needs. These types of profiles should be simple, functional, as universal as possible, and ready to use by everyone helping the person. 

A person can build their profile alone or with support. It can be re-evaluated on a constant basis as life and goals change. Here are some examples: