Risk is a necessary and important part of life for all of us but we need to think about and manage this risk. In this section you will be looking at risk in relation to cared-for people. The cared-for person has the right to take risks. When managing risk, however, there is the potential for carers to be cautious with an emphasis on overprotecting the cared-for person. In this section you will be exploring how carers can continue to empower the person they are supporting to have a more fulfilling life – in particular, through positive risk-taking.
Here we suggest that positive risk-taking can bring real benefits when it takes into account the needs and preferences of the cared-for person, the rights and responsibilities of their carers and the specific circumstances. The cared-for person is enabled to grow in confidence, learn from their experiences, develop new skills and abilities, or maintain the ones they already possess, and make full use of their opportunities and potential.
The course team acknowledges that there can be challenges with positive risk-taking. Paid care workers might feel more constrained than informal carers when it comes to positive risk-taking. Their employer might restrict what they would wish to do. At the same time, the informal carer might not be aware of the opportunities that could enhance the life of the cared-for person if they are encouraged to take positive risks.
You begin your study by looking at mental capacity. You then examine how independence can be encouraged and nurtured, followed by learning how carers can adopt the least restrictive practice (which means allowing the cared-for person to do the things they can still do) when considering risk to individuals. In the last topic you reflect on what happens when the cared-for person’s carer is unavailable and an emergency care plan is required.
At the end of the section there is a short quiz to test what you have learned about positive risk-taking. On successful completion of the quiz you will earn a digital badge.
This section is divided into four topics and each of these should take you around half an hour to study and complete. The topics are as follows:
- Mental capacity is explained and you learn about how capacity is assessed and the role carers might have in dealing with capacity.
- Promoting independence is about supporting people to reach their full potential and to be able to do as much as they can for themselves.
- Least restrictive practice is about ways to support people to enjoy independence and life-enhancing activities in the safest possible way.
- Emergency care plans are discussed in relation to why they are necessary and the type of essential information required.