Important to, Important for

I have been encouraged by many people to write a blog. I have never written one before so don’t expect too much of me – at least not at first. I’m hoping you’ll have low expectations so I can exceed them!

Having said that, I have a great topic which is easy to write about.  Last week, thirteen people from Horizons attended Person Centered Thinking training hosted by Mountain Valley Developmental Services, the Community Centered Board in Glenwood Springs.  The 45 participants represented four different western slope Community Centered Boards. 

We came together to learn how to create better lives for the people we support. One of the strategies we learned about is defining “important to” and “important for.” Things that are important to a person we support could be the same as, or different from, things that are important for them. For some people, having something sweet at every meal could be important to them. Because of weight or blood sugar levels, limiting sweets could be important for them. The tool helps people, their families and staff find a balance between the two. Things that are important for people are often health or safety related which, of course, can’t be discounted.

It’s exciting because Amanda Barnett and Katherine Hartley started using some of our new tools at an Individual Plan meeting the day after the Person Centered Thinking training. Creating a better life for this individual means camping trips, taking pictures, skyping with his family, watching NASCAR races and maybe even seeing a NASCAR race in person. All of these things are important to him. I’m happy to report that he went camping last summer, he skypes, and he took a photography class at Colorado Mountain College. Our challenge now is to figure out how to build on these successes. Anyone want to go to a NASCAR race with him?

The “important to” and “important for” worksheet is only one of the tools we learned about. I’ll tell you about others in my next blog. Thank you for reading this!