How to work out what I want ?

What do I want ?

These are our tips on planning to get the support you need.

They will also help when you are thinking about ways to get support for someone else.

Most people find that it is easier to talk to staff at the local Council and in services that provide support if they have already thought about what they want. Having a plan will help you explain what you want.

Think about all the aspects of your life.

  • You want to be sure that things that important to you, such as friendships and hobbies that you enjoy, get remembered.

List out what you can do as well as the things you find difficult.

  • Most people want to keep doing the things you are able to do for as long as possible. Include this in your plan, in case it gets overlooked.
  • Often the things you can do will help with things you find difficult. It just means thinking of your day or your life in a different way.

Build on all your strengths.

  • Your strengths include what you know, your life experiences and your skills. These are still useful although it might be in a different way.
  • Include the people you know and things that happen in your community when you think about  your strengths and assets or capacities.
  • When people from the Council or a service are doing an assessment with you, they might use the word ‘capacities’ for your strengths and what you can do.

Think about the things that are most important to you – what your priorities are.

  • It might be sorting the problems that are most urgent for you.
  • It might be holding on to people and activities that matter to you.
  • Don’t worry about whether this seems logical or sensible to anyone else. This is your life and your priorities.

Here is a list of aspects of your life to think about.

  • Family and friends – seeing people, playing with your grandchildren, doing things together
  • Managing at home
  • Getting out and about
  • Hobbies, interests, things you enjoy
  • Planning day-to-day things, remembering things
  • Roles that you have – being at work, volunteering, looking out for other people, being a  carer

Make a list that covers each of these:

  • What’s going well
  • What could be better
  • What support or changes you want in the next few weeks (or days, or months – whatever makes sense for you)
  • Longer-term support or changes you want.

Plan for now and for the future.

  • Think about aspects such as keeping in touch with friends and keeping active.
  • If you get the right support now it often makes the coming months or years easier.
  • Sometimes it is useful to start with a small level of support from a service you may use more later on. This lets you try out the service and build up relationships with people there.

Reflect on it.

  • Talk over your plan with people you trust.
  • If possible, leave it and think about to for a few days.
  • Then go back and make any changes you want.

Work out what the risks are for you – or for the person you care about if you are helping them plan for what they need.

  • How likely is each risk in your situation?
  • What are the consequences if it does happen?
  • Most of us want to concentrate on  the risks that are more likely and the ones that have serious consequences.
  • Sometimes a situation that would not bother many people matters for you.
  • If other people are anxious about a risk and you think it is OK, ask them to explain how likely they think it is and why the consequences are significant.

Now work out how to  reduce the risk.

  • What will make it less likely to happen?
  • What will make it  have a less serious impact if it does happen?
  • What support or other practical steps can you put in place that will help?
  • How can you be better able to cope?
  • Don’t worry of you can’t see a way to reduce the risks. This is where other people’s experience and knowledge comes in.

Talk to other people about the risks. 

  • Talk to your family and friends.
  • This is where the experience of other people can be useful: people in similar situations, the independent advice services, staff at the Social Work team at the Council and people who provide support.
  • It is usually better to know what other people are worrying about, even if you don’t agree with them.
  • They may see something  – a risk or a solution – you haven’t thought of.

Have a fresh look at your plans every so often.

  • You will learn from experience and may want to change the support you get.
  • Your circumstances might have changed.
  • People such as friends and family or the community supports may now be able to do less or more than before.

If you are getting support arranged through the Council, someone at the Council should be in touch  to do a review.

  • They may talk to you regularly at the beginning to check the arrangements you have agreed are working as planned.
  • A review should happen every 6 months or so.
  • If  you need to talk to them sooner than that because you want to change something, you don’t have to wait  until the planned review.


More information on this site

What to do if you find it hard

How do I get support for someone else?

The money side of getting support

Finding independent advice

Help to stay at work



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