I would like to tell a story, which I experienced as an underwriter in a planning.

Mrs. Jung lives in an institution for people with physical disabilities. She is about to retire and would like to move to a home for the elderly, as she wants to live in a quiet place. The assistant in the institution knows the personal future planning and asks external persons in order to set up the planning. The moderator and I see Mrs. Jung several times to discuss, whether she wants to make a plan and what her strengths and requests are. Mrs. Jung tells us that she does no longer want to go to the residents‘ meetings and that her chores (e.g. distributing clean laundry etc.) are too hard for her now. She would like more breaks, rest, time for herself and time to read the bible. But the residents’ meetings and chores are mandatory for everybody. Mrs. Jung mentioned several times that all of this is too much for her, but nobody listened.

Mrs. Jung’s caregiver is also amongst her carefully selected support group. Both of her requests are being addressed during the planning day. And… they are heard. The caregiver mentions that she will see to it that Mrs. Jung’s requests will be accepted.

What did I learn? A support group and a planning emphasize the requests very much. In a group with a clear focus on the person, such requests are heard. They are addressed, written on paper, and are heard by other supporters. The focus is on listening.

Judith Adler

October 2015

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