Department of Human Services

Personalised care - principle 3

A fancy red leather armchair stands out from among three plain white plastic seatsAll people with disability are not the same. Sounds so simple and clear, but realising that truth in delivering supportive care takes thought, effort and commitment to Dignity in Care Principle 3.

One-size-fits-all clothing and shoes … everyone knows that these items are less useful than outfits and footwear that are specific sizes. The same principle applies to medical care (your prescription isn't right for everyone else), bank accounts (he needs more credit options where you need more savings accounts), houses (single people often don't need four bedrooms).

The same principle of personalising applies to people with disability who receive support.

Ways to personalise support for people with disability

National Disability Insurance Scheme

A red piece of a jigsaw puzzle, with a dollar sign on it, is about to fit into the rest of the puzzle, which is greyThe National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) addresses personalisation at the highest level, working out the supports individuals need and providing the funding for those supports. The NDIS is being rolled-out across Australia.

The NDIS '…works with you to identify supports you need to live your life. Supports may help you achieve goals in many aspects of your life, including independence, involvement in your community, education, employment and health and wellbeing.

'The NDIS gives you more choice and control over how, when and where your supports are provided, and gives you certainty you will receive the support you need over your lifetime.'

National Disability Insurance Scheme

Person-centred support

The Department of Human Services (DHS) is committed to better lives for people with disability by providing services that are:

  • rights-based
  • person-centred
  • promoting people's growth, opportunity and community inclusion.

People with disability have unique perspectives, experiences, strengths, capabilities and skills, and are valuable contributors to all fields of human endeavour and to the human experience. They are best placed to make decisions about their own lives and be at the centre of any planning or service provision.

Safeguarding people with disability

The word 'rights' is spelled out in Scrabble letters, resting on a circular cluster of hands

National standards for disability services

Disability service providers must meet National Standards that have a strong focus on person-centered approaches and promote choice and control by people with disability.

Following these standards is considered critical under the National Disability Insurance Scheme.

There are six national standards:

  • rights
  • participation and inclusion
  • individual outcomes
  • feedback and complaints
  • service access
  • service management.

NDS Standards for Disability Services

You can read stories about the standards in practice, or use the evidence guide and conversation tool in your work, along with other documents that will help you.

NDS Standards – Stories

NDS Standards – Evidence Guide

NDS Standards – Conversation Tool

Checklist for principle 3 – personalised care in daily life

A woman's hand holds a torn scrap of paper, on which is written the words: I am what I am.

  1. Do we speak with the people we're supporting, using their names, rather than 'dear', 'love', deary' and so on?
  2. Do we ask the people we're supporting what it is that they would like to:
  • eat and drink
  • watch on television, listen to on radio, view on the internet?
  • wear from their collection of clothes and shoes?
  • Do the people we support choose for themselves, where they can, which:
    • teams they support?
    • holidays they celebrate?
    • events they attend to socialise, such as musical events or restaurant?
  • And where the people we support cannot verbally articulate their choices, do we watch carefully for non-verbal signs and signals about what he or she prefers, by noting, for example:
    • that they're either consistently or, at this particular time, uninterested in an activity?
    • the kinds of food that they leave on the plate?
    • the meaning of noises they make in the presence of certain people or in certain places?

    If we do all these things and more, we are giving personalised care to the people we support.

    Personalised support – it's about recognising and acting to serve the humanity and individuality of the people with and for whom we work.

    Email if you would like to become a Dignity in Care champion or need more information.

    Page last updated : 13 Feb 2020

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