This guide focuses on how to support shared decision making within a care home. It has been co-created with a group of people who work in care homes across England. They have been very generous in sharing their knowledge, expertise and perspectives.
About shared decision making Shared decision making is an inclusive process where a person works alongside another individual or individuals to reach a decision.
People living in care homes have the right to be included in decisions, including those about their care. Shared decision making should also include other people working in and connected to care homes, including team members and other employees, visitors including unpaid carers and other colleagues within health and social care.
Shared decision making:
• Supports people, including people living in care homes, to make informed choices and decisions, including those they feel are right for them.
• Ensures people understand all possible outcomes of a situation.
• Allows people to choose to what extent they would like to be involved in decision making. Some may not wish to take an active role, but importantly they have still had the opportunity to do so.
• Is grounded in how a care home develops, involving all people who live, work and visit the home (the home’s culture or ethos) as well as individual and personal decisions.
Shared decision making is one of the best practice themes that supports My Home Life’s work to enhance and develop quality of life in care. Fairness, respect, equality, diversity and autonomy (the FREDA principles) and a human rights-based approach to care shine through all the case studies, practice examples and ideas featured in this guide.
Whilst many of the examples and ideas in this guide focus on great care and working with people on an individual basis, everyone involved has also talked about the importance of ‘care-free’ conversations between people who live, work in and visit a home. These conversations are not about care but about other aspects of daily life, discussing what’s important together – for example meal choices, recruitment of staff,
daily activities, decoration of the care home and more.