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What is a care home care plan?

Fonthill House, St Albans, Hertfordshire

Moving into a care home can be a challenging time, whether you are moving a loved one or you are moving in yourself. You are likely to be dealing with a wide range of emotions, so being fully prepared can help you to reduce any anxiety. We hope that you find our comprehensive checklist helpful and supportive — making you feel more in control of this transition.

What is a care plan?

A care plan is a comprehensive document that outlines the specific needs, goals and preferences of an individual receiving any care services. It serves as a roadmap for healthcare professionals, caregivers and support teams, guiding the individual’s medical, physical and emotional requirements. 

Care plans are based on individual needs and are consequently different for each individual. Although each care plan is unique, they all serve the same purpose. Find out more about care plans below.

Why are care plans important in care homes?

Care plans are highly important documents in care homes, helping to deliver personalised and coordinated care. Each resident will get a care plan bespoke to them, which allows healthcare teams to have a comprehensive understanding of what treatment they have received and what they intend to have going forward. 

A comprehensive care plan will not only help healthcare teams around you, but it will allow you to better understand your condition, helping you 

have more control over your life. Likewise, it will also help your family and other loved ones to understand your wishes and how they can support you. 

By being involved in your own care plan, you can guarantee that you will be looked after the way you choose while still doing the things that you enjoy, such as pursuing hobbies and interests.

And, as circumstances are likely to change, a care plan is regularly reviewed and adjusted to ensure it remains relevant and responsive to the individual’s evolving situation.

What should be included in a care plan?

The patient should always be at the forefront of a care plan and should be involved in the planning process from the start. While every care plan is likely to look very different, they should all include: 

  • Specific interventions and treatments
  • What type of support you should receive
  • Your desired outcomes and goals
  • Who are your healthcare providers
  • When should treatment be provided
  • Records of previous care provided
  • Support services, including home care or specialised therapies
  • Healthcare costs

Types of care plans

There are various person-centred care plans available, including nursing care plans, individualised education plans (IEPs), mental health care plans, dementia care plans and discharge care plans. While each care plan is sector-specific, they all address needs and goals based on the individual’s condition and circumstances.

Nursing care plans

A nursing care plan is a formal document that identifies a patient’s medical history, current diagnosis, nursing diagnoses and prioritised nursing interventions. Nursing care plans help ensure consistent and coordinated care delivery, facilitate communication among healthcare team members, and promote individualised and holistic care that addresses the physical, emotional and social needs of the patient.

Nursing care plans begin when the client is admitted and is continuously checked and updated in accordance with the patient’s change in health or goals.

Dementia care plans

A dementia care plan is very similar to a general nursing care plan. However, it’s designed to enhance the experience of people living with dementia by presenting the patient as if they are speaking. It’s written to assist caregivers in understanding who they are caring for and includes personal information important for caregivers to know and use when working with the resident. 

For example, it may include information about the individual, such as their name and date of birth, their likes and dislikes, their background and interests, and ideas for caregivers to use when offering specialist 1-2-1 care. The overall goal is to provide a voice for the patient – especially when they are unable to do so for themselves.

End-of-Life care plans

An end-of-life care plan is a personalised document that outlines an individual’s preferences and wishes for medical and emotional care during their final stages of life. It serves as a guide for healthcare providers and loved ones to ensure that the person’s desires for pain management, treatment options, and emotional support are respected and followed. These plans help promote a dignified and comfortable end-of-life experience while providing clarity and guidance to all involved in the individual’s care.

Rehabilitation care plans

A rehabilitation care plan is a structured, individualised programme designed to help individuals recover physical, mental or emotional function following an injury, illness or surgery. It outlines specific goals, therapies and interventions to restore the person’s independence and quality of life. 

These plans are typically created by a multidisciplinary team, including healthcare professionals like physical therapists, occupational therapists and physicians. 

Rehabilitation care plans often include various therapies, exercises and activities tailored to the person’s unique needs, with the ultimate goal of improving their overall well-being and functional abilities.

Palliative care plans

A palliative care plan is a comprehensive and individualised approach to care, designed to improve the quality of life for individuals with serious or life-limiting illnesses. It focuses on addressing pain, symptoms, and emotional and psychological needs rather than seeking a cure. The plan is created collaboratively with healthcare professionals, patients and their families. It outlines goals; preferences; and strategies for providing comfort, managing symptoms, and ensuring dignity and support throughout the course of the illness.

These plans are typically created by a multidisciplinary team, including healthcare professionals like physical therapists, occupational therapists and physicians. 

Rehabilitation care plans often include various therapies, exercises and activities tailored to the person’s unique needs, with the ultimate goal of improving their overall well-being and functional abilities.

What do I do if I’m unhappy with my care plan?

If you’re unhappy with your care plan, it’s essential to voice your concerns openly and honestly with your healthcare provider or care team. Make sure to discuss any specific issues or areas of dissatisfaction and explore possible alternatives or adjustments that can be made to better meet your needs. 

Advocating for yourself and actively participating in the care planning process can help you receive the best possible treatment and subsequent outcomes.

A care home care plan plays a vital role in providing personalised and holistic care to individuals residing in care homes. By assessing and addressing their unique needs, setting clear goals and outlining appropriate interventions, care home care plans ensure the provision of quality, individualised care that promotes well-being and enhances the overall quality of life for residents.

Rehabilitation care plans

Care home resident and care staff

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