Helping people to gather information about their condition is important both in helping them to identify goals of care and in helping them to create action plans to reach those goals.

Directing people towards further appropriate resources is an important part of supported self-care. This includes providing people with information and making sure that it is in a format that is accessible for them, taking into account any specific needs that they might have (for example, sensory or cognitive impairment, or language requirements). This is particularly important for older people who might have visual or hearing impairments, short-term memory loss or dementia.

As well as providing written sources of information, signposting also includes:

  • Supporting people to find out about services in their local communities;
  • Helping them to access relevant programmes;
  • Connecting them with others in their position through support networks and community groups.

The services, programmes and support networks concerned can be:

  • General (designed to help relieve stress, increase motivation or improve mental wellbeing);
  • Specific (to help improve understanding and management of a specific long-term condition such as diabetes).

Signposting an individual to the resources needed to help them reach their goals can help them to learn more about their condition, make them more independent, help them to become healthier in themselves, and help them to enjoy a better quality of life.

Sources of information:

  • The Internet: There is a vast array of potential information available online. Learning how to find reliable and helpful websites is an important skill to develop for supporting self-care. This toolkit includes a number of links to local and national resources;
  • Printed Information: Health, care and charitable organisations produce a range of information leaflets and newsletters that may be helpful for self-care. These may be available in Council offices, GP surgeries, or hospitals;
  • Telephone Advice: There are a range of different local and national helplines available.
  • Care professionals and volunteers: Understanding who else within the wider system of care, other public services or the voluntary sector may be able to help provide information directly is also a valuable skill for supported self-care.


Further information

Self Care Training Manual Module 8: gathering information and signposting