What is the Handy Approach©?

Naer-gaetni’ is an Icelandic term for ‘the care you need to take when you get close to someone’.

The Handy Approach is the first step in co-producing support preparation  as it prompts Interdisciplinary Teams to elicit aspirations for care. The Handy Approach is a framework which brings the personal together with the mental, the physical and the social domains of integrated caring. It enables Interdisciplinary Teams to summarise the key features of the lived life of people receiving care by capturing wellness and ability by starting with what matters to the person and their family/carer receiving care. The Handy Approach is supported with Flash Teaching©   with the aim of making Interdiciplinary Teams highly functional.

Crafting Person Centred Care in Five Questions, mapped on the hand starting with the thumb:

  1. Thumb (COGNITION mental domain)
    Can you remember what you did yesterday?
  2. Index finger (CONSENT mental domain)
    Do you give us permission to be involved in your care?
  3. Middle finger (FUNCTION physical domain)
    Are you able to get out of bed?
  4. Ring finger (SETTING social domain)
    Are you alone at night?
  5. Little finger (HOPES/WISHES personal domain)
    What matters to you at the moment, in the next few months and in the coming year?

Co-production starts with eliciting ‘What matters to you?  What does a good day look like for you? What will you notice if our team has made a difference?’

The personal and social domains are key factors in determining what is possible, in order to formulate solutions.

At the first and subsequent visits the Interdisciplinary Team needs to be alerted:

  • If the person has any cognitive impairment
  • If they are  bed-bound
  • If they live alone or with a partner who is cognitively impaired


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