Decision Tree

Decision Tree

As shared decision making is difficult to achieve within the care home setting, one of the groups introduced a ‘Decision Tree’ to facilitate the involvement of residents in decision about life in their care home.  Using this approach, a small tree, usually an artificial one, is placed in a focal point in the care home.  Alongside the tree a question is posted such as, Where would you like to go on an outing? or What do you think about the current menu? Leaves are located beside the tree, often represented by luggage tags and staff, residents and relatives are encouraged to answer the question by writing their views on a leaf and hanging it on the tree. The tree is usually left ‘open for answers’ for a week, thereby giving people time to think about their answers.  In addition to its impact on shared decision making, the decision tree has proven to be a topic of conversation between staff and residents and appears to be particularly appreciated by residents with dementia who previously struggled with questionnaires or ‘on the spot’ questioning by staff.

Reading Rooms - Encouraging Shared Decision Making

The Reading Rooms are an initiative run by the verbal arts centre


Reading Rooms is a mobile shared reading programme that gives participants a voice, reduces isolation and anxiety, and promotes wellbeing.

Using a reading aloud and shared reading setting the programme encourages participants to share personal experiences from their past, sparking memories, stimulating new thoughts and provoking conversation related to the short story and poems selected in advance, that are tailored to the needs of the group by the project’s Literary Guide. The group sessions are led by a trained facilitator who has completed an intensive three day accredited training programme on how to use the reading aloud model and engage with the groups they are working with. The facilitator skilfully brings the group together and prompts conversation without pressure. Discussions are free flowing and this social aspect of the group allows for a friendly atmosphere and an opportunity to learn more about others. Reading Rooms can take place anywhere in the community and works best in groups of no more than 10 people.

My Home life NI have worked with the reading rooms in many of  our care homes, it can also be a way of encouraging shared decision making as it breaks down barriers and creates the opportunity to develop relationship centred care.