How to Prepare a Professional Care Plan for Your Elderly Loved One
Whether your loved one is heading home from the hospital or you’re considering adding a professional caregiver to your loved one’s care team, creating a care plan is an essential first step in senior homecare.
A care plan is a document that lays out a road map for care between medical professionals, professional caregivers, family and loved ones. The document ensures that everyone involved in caring for your loved one understands his or her needs and the best ways to meet them.
The process begins with an in-home consultation to assess the senior’s needs.
A skilled professional will identify and help clarify those needs — be it physical, emotional, spiritual or social.
He or she will then draft the plan, ensuring the right services are provided and that it is personalized to your loved one’s needs; personality and preferences. Plans should also be flexible and adjusted as needed.
Here are some of the questions that a professional may ask when developing your loved one’s care plan:
- What is the current state of your loved one’s physical and mental health?
- What are your loved one’s wishes for care? What does she believe she needs help with the most? How can we help her live as independently as she wishes?
- What are the wishes of you and your family members related to loved one’s needs?
- Does your loved one need medical assistance, such as administering medications or changing dressings?
- Does she need assistance with day-to-day chores, such as meal preparation or housekeeping?
- Does your loved one need personal care, such as bathing assistance?
- Has your loved one had frequent falls or a concern with her balance in the recent past?
- Does your loved one have mobility issues in the home? Moving from chair to sofa? Bedroom to kitchen? Are stairs a concern?
- How often do you think your loved one needs healthcare vs. personal care services?
- Are there multiple caregiving providers? Loved ones, medical professionals, Visiting Angels care professionals? Who is on the Care Team?
- Are any of these home care needs temporary with the hope/expectation that your loved one will likely to get better in future? Or do you envision them likely to worsen and require more assistance?
- What are the layout and features of the home itself? Are all areas accessible to your loved one?
- Does your loved one require any equipment or supplies, such as a wheelchair?
- Does your loved one have any dietary requirements or needs?
- What social interactions does your loved one miss? Does she visit with friends? What about attending church or synagogue? Senior center? Have you ever considered online social sites, such as Facebook or Skype, to be beneficial? Since social interaction is so important, what can we do to help your loved one keep a varied and fulfilling social life?
- Is your loved one or their spouse a veteran?
- Does your loved one have long-term care insurance?
- What is the budget for care?
When drafting a care plan, a professional will consider the needs of any family or friends who might be providing care currently. Some of the questions you will want to be prepared to discuss are:
- What are the outcomes your family wants to achieve for your loved one?
- What support does your family need so they can continue providing care but also have time to lead their own lives?
- Does your family need respite from caregiving to work or just to relax and have time on their own?
A good care plan should not only ensure the highest possible quality of life for your loved one but also that of those currently caring for her. It’s essential to remember that even after making your care plan, your loved one’s needs can change and the care plan will have to change too. His or her needs aren’t static, therefore your care plan can’t be either.