“How do I know my loved one is taken care of?” “How do I know I will be taken care of?” These questions come up time and time again when people are looking for elderly care. It’s already difficult to be given new restrictions on life and home than you previously had, and you want to be sure that you can trust the ones you are in the care of. Many assisted living facilities have wonderful staff and great buildings, but how do you know? That’s where a care plan comes in.
Care plans begin before a resident is even accepted. It is recommended to visit the facility if you can or see if you can get current pictures or videos of the facility before you decide. In fact, try out a couple of different facilities if you can. You should create your list at this time of what you decide is a must or a bust (aka, what you absolutely need and what is a dealbreaker if the facility has). Set up a meeting with the administrators of the facilities you liked the most. When a potential resident or resident’s family meets with an administrator, they will ask you many questions. It’s best if you come with a list of needs, medications, and concerns so they can ensure they have sufficient to care for your needs and wants
When you are speaking with the administrator, don’t be afraid to ask all your questions, and request a copy of their policies to ensure you will feel safe and comfortable in the facility. It is not advisable to agree to a contract at first glance. Take a careful look at the policies and ensure it meets your care plan! Then ensure your financials are in place to ensure you can have a room in the facility of your choice (or maybe your second choice). Then schedule another meeting with the administrator or charge nurse to officially go over your specific care plan. What medications are taken, when do they need to be taken, what are your or your loved one’s medical conditions that carers need to be aware of, what level of assistance needs to be given on a daily basis, and what are you bringing into the facility that needs to be kept track of? These are questions to consider as you carefully prepare to move into your new room.
A care plan can and should be done for those who are needing home care assistance as well. A care plan is also a fantastic tool to ensure that when you meet with your administrator or charge nurse a few months down the road, you have a way to ensure that the care agreed upon is being met. It is also malleable, so as needs change, it can also change to meet those needs. We do urge families who are looking for care and need to do a care plan to work with a nurse or use the resources available below in this article to create your care plan. Differences in opinion will raise and tempers can flare so ensure that you keep the care plan focused on your loved ones and their needs.
Care plans can become a binding contract or a guide for caregivers but they are a must for ensuring that quality care is met. As you work to build your care plan, see our resources. Keep in mind that it should be focused solely on ensuring that you or your loved one receive the level of care you need. If you need help, we have listed a template in our resources below!