Person Centered Planning

“Person Centered Planning is a process of learning how a person wants to live and then describing what needs to be done to help the person move toward that life.”

Michael W. Smull

Meridian Services believes that all people want to be independent and to have as much control over their lives as possible. The company considers it to be its responsibility to seek opportunities in which the consumers it serves can participate as fully as possible in achieving their own dreams and desires. To this end, Meridian Services and its consumers together develop individual plans of action to assist the consumer in reaching their dreams. This is called Person Centered Planning. The tools Meridian Services uses to achieve Person Centered Planning include Essential Lifestyle Planning (ELP) and Planning Alternative Tomorrows with Hope (PATH). Consumers are given a choice of participating in these team formats and are encouraged to invite the people whom they wish to be present to meet with them and to develop a plan of action. These meetings help all those involved to understand better how to provide support so that the consumer may achieve the dreams they have for their future.

The following describes the general principals of both Essential Lifestyle Planning (ELP) and Planning Alternative Tomorrows with Hope (PATH).

Essential Lifestyle Planning (ELP)

What is Essential Lifestyle Planning?

  • Finding out with is important to someone and understanding a person’s preferred lifestyle.
  • A way for Care Givers to learn about what health, safety and risk means to the individual.
  • A set of values and strategies used to assist a person in creating a vision for the future and working toward its realization.
  • A process that leads to a greater understanding of the person’s, Core Values, Dreams and Visions, Gifts and Capacities, as well as Likes and Dislikes.

Essential Lifestyle Planning is a structured approach to:

  • Learn how people want to live their lives.
  • Organize and communicate what is important to an individual in a way that is user-friendly.
  • Ensure that persons are heard regardless of the nature and severity of their disability.
  • Create a flexible process that can and should be used with other person-centered planning techniques.

The Essential Lifestyle Planning Process

The person receiving the Essential Lifestyle Plan will recruit individuals who are willing to make a commitment to contribute to the plan.

The Meridian Services Program Manager will assist the person in setting a date, with the Essential Lifestyle Plan Coordinator for the Essential Lifestyle Plan to take place. The plan itself will take two to four hours and persons participating must make a commitment to staying through the entire process, then committing to the follow through with the plan.

After the process, the plan will be written up and the team will reconvene to celebrate the plan.

Planning Alternative Tomorrows with Hope (PATH)

PATH is a tool that asks questions such as, “What are your dreams? What are the things that you want for yourself?” and then uses small, manageable steps to break down the tasks to make a realistic plan that will help you achieve your dreams. You provide the dreams and PATH will lead you to the realization of those dreams.

What is PATH? PATH is a recipe for success. Simply add your dreams to the PATH process.

  • PATH is consumer directed. It allows the consumer to DREAM!!
  • PATH is colorful, creative, positive, fun, visual, and possible.
  • PATH is an opportunity for the consumer to make Real Life Choices.
  • PATH is a two hour minimum commitment by a team of friends, family, or other support people. Nobody reaches his or her dreams without help from others.

Benefits of PATH:

  • Relationships with the consumer are strengthened.
  • The consumer is given a license to dream.
  • All persons involved can feel rewarded knowing that they have created a concrete, structured plan that provides unlimited opportunities for success.
  • Facing and overcoming the challenges of dreaming big enhance the quality of life for families and consumers.

PATH is for everybody. It works.

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