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:

  • Focus is on the person 
  • Their goals, and their vision for the future. 
  • Unique strengths 
  • Supported self-direction 
  • Understand what is important to and for them

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.  This allows a partnership that focuses on the person, their family, their goals, and their own voice in the outcomes achieved.

Elements to Person-Centered Practices 

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

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 Person-Centered 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. Profiles should be:

  • Simple 
  • Functional 
  • Universal as possible 
  • Ready to use by everyone helping the person 
  • Re-evaluated on a constant basis 

Here are some examples: