You may feel that it is time for you to be more in charge of health choices in your daily life. You may want to do more health activities on your own. It is important to talk to your family about what you can do and what you would like to learn to do. This will help your family feel better about letting go and having you become more in charge of your health.
The following STEPS will help you talk with your family:
Step One: Ask a family member to work with you on how to be more in charge of your health. This could be a parent, brother or sister, grandparent, aunt or uncle.
You might say:
I want my family to let me do things more on my own or with a little help. Would you help me get started on taking charge of my own health?
Step Two: Together write down why you want to be more in charge of your health. Here are some examples of what you can write down:
- I am not a child anymore and it is time for you to let me be more in charge
- I want to be more responsible for myself
- I like feeling more independent
- I like speaking up for myself
- I want to have health goals that are important to me
- You can watch how I can do this on my own so you know I am able
Step Three: Write down all the health choices and activities that you would like to take care of yourself, with or without help. Here are some examples:
- Exercises I would like to be part of my day
- Planning what I want to eat for meals
- Making my own appointments and how to get there
- Taking my own medication
- Setting up a daily routine to take care of my body
Now, decide which of these health activities and choices are ones that you think you can make or do on your own and which are ones that you need some help with.
Step Four: Ask to have a family meeting in order to talk about why you want to be more in charge of health choices, decisions and your everyday health activities.
You might say:
I am having a meeting about being more in charge of my health. I would like you to be part of this. Can we do this at (say the time and day you set up)?
Step Five: During the family meeting:
- Talk about why you want to be more in charge of your health choices and activities. (What you wrote down in Step 2.)
- Talk about the health choices and activities you want to take care of by yourself and ones where you will need help. (What you wrote down in Step 3.)
- Think about the people who can help you make these health choices and learn these health activities.
Step Six: Right after the meeting:
- Set up a plan for next steps. Include in this plan the names of the people who will help you to put your plan into action in your everyday life.
- Your plan should say how you will begin taking care of your health activities. You may have to schedule time to do certain things. You might want to discuss how your family member will help you to learn certain skills.
- Once your plan is done, you can start learning, doing, and taking charge.
Step Seven: A few months later after the meeting:
- Set up a follow-up meeting to talk about what is working out well and what has not worked out.
- Make changes to your plan, if needed.
- Continue to talk to your family about your feelings on taking charge and about how they feel about letting go.