Activity – Supported Decision Making case study response

Activity - Supported Decision Making case study response


This is the list that was on the SDM video class presentation as it may apply to Lorraine – of course not all aspects may apply. In this scenario you are Lorraine’s Aunt, so will know which may or may not apply…

  • Is Lorraine willing to talk to you on this issue?


Scene Setting

  • Decide when / where this conversation should take place eg in a coffee shop, away from the home where the tensions are and away from potential earshot of the mother.
  • Ensure Lorraine is in an optimal state to talk – not in pain, not tired, in an optimal frame of mind, some days may be better than others. Consider all of the things that were on the presentation slide as things that impact on decision making.



  • Ensure Lorraine is clear what the discussion is about – integrity
  • Offer only as much support as is needed
  • Take time
  • Explain things in simple terms (if necessary)
  • Break the matter into ‘bite sized chunks, 
  • Stay calm, have patience
  • Speak at a steady rate and normal volume (even if Lorraine is getting emotional)
  • Use touch
  • Maintain eye contact
  • Sit beside Lorraine, so you are on the same level
  • Be alert to Lorraine’s emotions, acknowledge these.
  • Have open body gestures, smile – no matter what your views on the situation.
  • Be matter of fact and relaxed
  • Remain objective – ensure you are not inadvertently influencing Lorraine by your words or gestures.
  • Check your understanding of what she has said by repeating back and rephrasing what you believe yourself to have heard / understood.
  • Make sure your comments / questions are clear and unambiguous
  • Use language Lorraine understands
  • Use short sentences
  • Don’t finish sentences
  • If Lorraine is struggling for words, do not be tempted to offer her a range of options, hoping one of these may be the one she is searching for
  • Listen actively, be observant – a change in her body position or facial expression may indicate something different to the words she is conveying.
  • If you don’t understand what she is saying, apologise and ask her to repeat it.
  • Have a paper and a pen handy, in case either of you need to jot down ideas.
  • Are there any past examples that can assist?

Again, these are a range of ideas, they may not all be applicable to Lorraine but they illustrate the range of things to consider when supporting someone with their decision making.