5.1 Support an individual to make informed choices

5.1 Support an individual to make informed choices

Implement Person-Centred Approaches in Care Settings Answers

Care Learning

6 mins READ

This guide will help you answer The RQF Level 2 Diploma in Care Unit 5.1 Support an individual to make informed choices.

Supporting an individual to make informed choices is a critical component of person-centred care. It’s essential to enable individuals to make decisions about their lives and health with a full understanding of the potential outcomes. This promotes autonomy, respect, and dignity.

Understanding Informed Choices

Informed choices mean that an individual has been given all the necessary information to make a decision that aligns with their values and preferences. It requires clarity, transparency, and honesty from the care provider.

What is an Informed Choice?

An informed choice happens when an individual understands the:

  • Available options.
  • Potential benefits and risks.
  • Consequences of different choices.

Importance of Supporting Informed Choices

Promotes Autonomy

Autonomy is about allowing individuals to have control over their lives. By supporting informed choices, care workers enhance the individual’s independence and self-worth.

Enhances Dignity and Respect

Respecting the individual’s choices, even when they differ from what the care worker might choose, is essential. This shows that the care worker values their opinions and wishes.

Improves Health Outcomes

When individuals are involved in their care decisions, they are more likely to engage in health-promoting behaviours and follow through with agreed-upon care plans.

Steps to Support Informed Choices

1. Provide Clear, Relevant Information

Give information that is:

  • Understandable.
  • Relevant to the individual’s situation.
  • Presented in a format that suits their communication needs (visual aids, verbal explanations, written materials).

2. Use Effective Communication

Ensure communication is:

  • Simple and jargon-free.
  • At the individual’s pace.
  • Adapted to their language and literacy level.
  • Supported with visual aids if necessary.

3. Assess Understanding

Check if the individual understands by:

4. Discuss Benefits and Risks

Clearly explain the potential:

  • Benefits (positive outcomes).
  • Risks (negative outcomes or side effects).
  • Consequences of not making a choice.

5. Respect Their Decision

Once the individual has made a decision:

  • Respect their choice.
  • Support them, even if you disagree.
  • Document their decision accurately.

Barriers to Making Informed Choices

Communication Difficulties

Language barriers, hearing or visual impairments, and cognitive impairments can impede understanding. Use appropriate aids and tailor your communication methods.

Lack of Confidence

Some individuals might lack the confidence to make decisions. Encourage and reassure them of their capability.

Misunderstanding or Misinformation

Ensure that information is correct and not misleading. Address any misconceptions.

Cultural and Social Factors

Be aware of the individual’s cultural background, values, and family influences that may affect decision-making.

Tools and Techniques

Decision Aids

Use tools like pamphlets, charts, or online resources that outline options and their respective benefits and risks.

Advocacy Services

Advocates can help individuals express their views and choices. They act as a supportive guide in decision-making processes.

Assisted Decision-Making

For those who cannot make decisions independently, support them through a best-interests decision-making process, involving family, friends, and professionals.

Real-World Examples

Healthcare Decisions

Consider a scenario where an individual must decide between surgery and medication for a health condition. Provide detailed information about both options, including success rates, potential side effects, recovery times, and costs.

Daily Living Choices

Support daily choices such as meal preferences, hobbies, or routines. For example, offer a choice between different activities or meal options, explaining the benefits of each to help them decide.

Recording and Reviewing Choices

Accurate Documentation

Record the choices made, discussions held, and information provided in care plans. This ensures clarity and continuity in care.

Regular Reviews

Review the choices regularly to ensure they still align with the individual’s preferences and circumstances, adapting as necessary.

Ethical Considerations


Ensure that informed consent is obtained. The individual must agree to any proposed care or treatment willingly, with full understanding.


Maintain confidentiality throughout the decision-making process. Share information only with those directly involved in the individual’s care and only with their consent.

Case Study Example

Consider an elderly client named Mrs. Smith needing to decide between moving into assisted living or having a caregiver visit her home.

  1. Information: Provide details about both options.
  2. Communication: Use simple language and visual aids.
  3. Benefits/Risks: Clearly state the positives and negatives of each option.
  4. Decision: Respect Mrs. Smith’s choice, support her, and document the decision.

Example answers for unit 5.1 Support an individual to make informed choices

Certainly! Below are some example answers that a care worker might give when supporting an individual to make informed choices. These examples align with the detailed content on supporting informed choices and provide practical ways to handle different situations.

Example 1: Healthcare Decision

Scenario: An individual must decide between undergoing surgery or taking medication for a health condition.

Providing Information

Care Worker: “Mrs. Thompson, you have two main options for treating your condition: you can have surgery or take medication. Let’s go over what each option involves. The surgery typically lasts about an hour and would require you to stay overnight in the hospital. It has a high success rate, but there will be a recovery period of about six weeks where you’ll need to take it easy. The medications, on the other hand, have fewer immediate risks and no recovery time, but you may need to take them indefinitely to manage your condition.”

Discussing Benefits and Risks

Care Worker: “The main benefit of surgery is that it’s a more permanent solution – you’ll likely not have to worry about this condition afterward. However, there are risks like infection and the usual risks associated with any surgery. With medication, the risk is lower, but there might be side effects like nausea or dizziness, and it’s a longer-term commitment.”

Assessing Understanding

Care Worker: “Can you explain back to me what each option involves, just so I know I’ve explained it clearly?”

Respecting Decision

Care Worker: “I respect your choice, Mrs. Thompson. If you choose to manage your condition with medication, we’ll work closely with your GP to monitor your progress. Please let me know if you have any more questions or concerns.”

Example 2: Daily Living Choices

Scenario: An individual needs to decide between participating in a craft activity or a nature walk.

Providing Information

Care Worker: “Mr. Patel, this morning, we have two activities you can choose from. We’re doing a craft session where you can paint or create something with clay. It will be indoors and lasts about an hour. Alternatively, we have a nature walk in the park. It’s a gentle walk and should take about 30 minutes. The weather is perfect for it.”

Discussing Benefits and Risks

Care Worker: “The craft activity is a great way to be creative and can be very relaxing. It’s ideal if you’re looking to stay indoors. The nature walk will give you some fresh air and is a good light exercise option. But remember, it might be a bit tiring if you’re not used to walking for that long.”

Assessing Understanding

Care Worker: “Do you understand what each activity involves? Would you like me to go over anything again?”

Respecting Decision

Care Worker: “That’s a fine choice, Mr. Patel. If you prefer the nature walk, let’s get you ready. We’ll make sure to take it at your pace and enjoy the day outside.”

Example 3: Dietary Choices

Scenario: An individual must decide between two meal options for lunch.

Providing Information

Care Worker: “Ms. Evans, for lunch today you can choose between a chicken salad and a vegetable soup. The chicken salad has fresh vegetables and a light dressing, while the vegetable soup is homemade and served with wholegrain bread.”

Discussing Benefits and Risks

Care Worker: “The chicken salad is a good source of protein and vitamins, and it’s very refreshing. The vegetable soup is warm and comforting, full of fibre and nutrients. If you’re not a fan of cold meals, the soup might be a better option for you.”

Assessing Understanding

Care Worker: “Do you understand what each meal consists of? Is there anything you’re unsure about?”

Respecting Decision

Care Worker: “Great choice, Ms. Evans. I’ll get the vegetable soup for you. If you’d like, I can also bring a small side of salad, just in case you change your mind.”

Example 4: Personal Hygiene

Scenario: An individual must decide when to take a bath – in the morning or the evening.

Providing Information

Care Worker: “Mr. Davies, do you prefer to take your bath in the morning or in the evening? If you take it in the morning, it can help you feel refreshed and ready for the day. An evening bath, on the other hand, might help you relax and sleep better.”

Discussing Benefits and Risks

Care Worker: “A morning bath can be very invigorating, but you might find it hard if you’re not a morning person. An evening bath can be very soothing, but if you’re too tired, it might be less enjoyable for you.”

Assessing Understanding

Care Worker: “Does that make sense, Mr. Davies? Would you like me to recap or explain any part again?”

Respecting Decision

Care Worker: “Evening it is. That’s a great choice. We’ll schedule your bath for after dinner, and I’ll make sure everything is ready for you. Just let me know if you need anything else.”

These examples illustrate how care workers can support individuals in making informed choices. By providing clear and relevant information, discussing the benefits and risks, assessing understanding, and respecting the individual’s decisions, care workers can effectively empower individuals to make choices that are best for them.


Supporting an individual to make informed choices empowers them, enhances their quality of life, and promotes person-centred care. It requires clear communication, understanding, and respect.

Always provide the necessary information, ensure comprehension, and support their decisions to uphold their dignity and autonomy.

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