Thinking ahead supporting families to feel confident about the future
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Thinking Ahead: supporting families to feel confident about the future. Christine Towers: Foundation for People with Learning Disabilities. Why Thinking Ahead?. Parents saying they are living with high level of worry about the future

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Thinking Ahead: supporting families to feel confident about the future

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Thinking ahead supporting families to feel confident about the future

Thinking Ahead: supporting families to feel confident about the future

Christine Towers: Foundation for People with Learning Disabilities


Why thinking ahead

Why Thinking Ahead?

  • Parents saying they are living with high level of worry about the future

  • At an extreme, parents considering taking the life of their son/ daughter

  • Yet many barriers to planning

    • day-to-day issues take priority

    • no-one to guide and support with planning

    • feel dependent on services for solutions


Level of anxiety

Level of anxiety


Discussions about the future

Discussions about the future


Workshops with people with learning disabilities

‘Don’t wrap us in cotton wool- we need to learn to cope’

‘We need to be included when people are seriously ill or dying’

‘We need to go to funerals so we know what to expect’

People should talk to us more about our future life’

Workshops with people with learning disabilities


Workshops with parents and siblings

‘We need to be less protective but it’s difficult when we see our relatives aren’t safe in their homes and when out and about’

‘We need to have confidence in organisations providing support and in the quality of staff’

‘There’s never a good time to plan but we need to stop burying our heads’

Workshops with parents and siblings


Our response

Our response

Planning guide:

Campaign Report:


Thinking ahead guide key themes

Thinking Ahead guide: key themes

  • Step-by-step approach- do what is relevant at the time but get started

  • Talk about it with others- get them involved in thinking and doing

  • Build commitment from others who will look out for relative when no longer able

  • Write things down – make sure ideas, plans and wishes are known


Planning guide content

Planning guide content

  • Making decisions

  • Making future plans in a person centred way

  • Building friendships and support networks

  • Talking about difficult subjects

  • Making financial plans

  • Housing and support

  • Making a plan for emergencies

  • Keeping an eye on things

  • Making a plan for the future- a checklist


Thinking ahead guide ideas for using it

Thinking Ahead guide: ideas for using it

  • Families can use it on their own or with other families they know or with their relative’s circle of support

  • Family support groups, peer support groups, carers’ organisations can run sessions – discussions, problem solving, putting things in place

  • Statutory services- signpost families to planning guide, use assessments, support planning and reviews to talk about issues and respond to families concerns and queries

  • Local authorities fund Thinking Ahead information days and programme of workshops


Information about resources

Information about resources

Thinking Ahead guide is available as a free download at http://www.fpld.org.uk/our-work/family-friends-community/thinking-ahead/

or can be ordered for £10 plus P&P (ordered version comes in a ring-binder).

For information about training and support, contact Christine Towers [email protected]


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