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  7. Describe the importance of enabling individuals to develop...

Describe the importance of enabling individuals to develop skills in self-care and to maintain their own network of friends within their community


This page is designed to answer the following questions:

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Enabling individuals to develop skills in self-care involves promoting independence and supporting individuals to take responsibility for their own health and well-being.


As well as promoting the person-centred value of independence, it also promotes an individual’s right to dignity and privacy.

By empowering an individual to make their own decisions about their care, you can help prevent illnesses and accidents and, if they are ill with a short or long-term condition, they will be able to take better care of themselves.


Independence can also have a positive effect on an individual’s self-esteem and boost their self-confidence, leading to improved overall well-being. This results in a better quality of life and potentially less pain, anxiety, depression and fatigue. It also reduces the likelihood of self-neglect.

Similarly, supporting an individual to maintain their own network of friends within the community also promotes their well-being. By being part of a group with similar interests and ideals, an individual will feel better about themselves, which can raise self-esteem and self-confidence as well as reinforce their unique identity.


Skills for Health have developed seven common core principles to support self-care. The full document can be found here, however, a summary of the principles is given below:

  1. Person-centred practice that engages, supports, encourages and facilitates involvement and helps individuals to make decisions that are right for them.
  2. Effective communication enables individuals to identify their strengths, assess their needs, and develop and gain the confidence to self-care.
  3. For individuals to make well-informed decisions about their self-care they must have access to appropriate information and understand the range of options available to them.
  4. Developing skills and confidence in self-care requires access to a range of learning and development opportunities, formal and informal.
  5. New technology is an important aspect of enabling people to self-care.
  6. Individuals are enabled to access support networks and participate in the planning, development and evaluation of services.
  7. Risk-taking is a normal part of everyday life, so supported risk management and risk-taking is an important element of maximising independence and choice.

– Common Core Principles of Self-Care (Skills for Health)

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