How do we design a person-centred care plan?



A person-centred care plan, built on the core principles of individuality, collaboration and empowerment, can be nothing short of transformative.

It honours the inherent worth and agency of every person, regardless of their physical abilities, mental health or cognitive functioning, and recognises that we all have a story to tell.

When compared to traditional caregiving models, person-centred care recognises each individuals' unique needs, preferences and aspirations and takes all these into account. Each care plan Stepping Stones to Independence implements is as unique and special as the individual they're designed around, and we believe that nothing should be left to chance or assumed when it comes to changing lives.

So, where do we begin?

This blog post will dive into the essentials that Stepping Stones to Independence considers when creating care plans, how these inform the decisions we make and how it all comes together.

Understandings Needs

The foundation of any person-centred care plan lies in a comprehensive understanding of the individual's needs. This is the difference between care that helps people get by and care that enables people to thrive as individuals, make the most of life and make progress every day towards a goal.


  • Physical needs - The starting point of any care plan is getting to grips with the individual's physical capabilities, limitations and potential assistive needs for daily activities like mobility, dressing, personal hygiene and eating.
  • Emotional needs – We also take steps to recognise, understand and address the emotional wellbeing of the individual, considering factors like anxiety, depression or social isolation and how these might overlap with their physical, mental or cognitive abilities. For example, research indicates that adults with autism are up to four times as likely to be lonely when compared to those who are neurotypical, which may manifest as depression, anxiety, low self-esteem or something else entirely. 
  • Social needs – Leading on from this, we must also evaluate the individual's social connections, desired levels of interaction and potential support networks. It may be that they are already a full-engaged member of their local community, or they may have a whole list of hobbies or interests that their condition (Or beliefs about their condition) have stopped them from pursuing.


Person-Centred Care: Embracing Individuality

But strengths are as important as limitations. Beyond acknowledging needs, person-centred care also needs to identify and leverage individual strengths and preferences.


  • Strengths – We recognise the individual's existing skills, abilities and areas of competence. As well as avoiding care measures that may end up being redundant, this serves to foster a sense of self-worth and encourages them to contribute actively to the care plan, especially if they had not considered or recognised the strength.
  • Preferred Levels of Support – It wouldn't be person-centred care if we overrode their own voice in favour of doing what we believe to be right – After all, if the care recipient finds it frustrating or stifling, how can it be right? They may only want the bare minimum of support to retain their autonomy and sense of control, or they may want as much on-hands assistance as we can provide; there is no right or wrong answer.













Embracing Uniqueness

Yet beyond recognising and accounting for needs, limitations and strengths, person-centred care must consider the individual's preferences. More than simply creating a ‘flavour' of what would otherwise be a one-size-fits-all care plan, this all-important step helps to promote engagement and autonomy.

  • Interests and Hobbies – Interests and hobbies are integral parts of anybody's identity, representing unique facets of their personality and life experiences. By acknowledging and incorporating these interests into a care plan, we validate the individual's identity and self-worth.
  • Aspirations – Whether short-, mid- or long-term, aspirations serve as the care plan's guiding star that directs the path towards the individual's desired outcomes and quality of life. It may be something concrete they have had in mind for a long time, such as returning to the workforce, or it may be something more abstract and open-ended like being able to live independently. Both are valid, and both are ‘baked in' to the person-centred care plan.

The result? A unique roadmap to a fulfilling life

In conclusion, as you can see, designing person-centred care plans for vulnerable adults requires careful consideration of a lot of moving parts.

By working with primary and existing caregivers, going the extra mile to get to know the care recipient as a person and keeping them involved at every step of the way, Stepping Stones to Independence create tailored plans that promote autonomy, dignity and well-being.



If you are interested in learning more about how person-centred care can benefit vulnerable adults, or if you have any questions about our services, please don't hesitate to contact us at (0117) 960 8855 or by sending us an email at We are dedicated to empowering individuals to reach their full potential and thrive, and would be privileged to do the same for you or your loved one.