How Nursing Homes Utilize Care Plans

nursing homesKnowing about care plans can help you get the most out of your nursing home experience.

Nursing homes of all sizes need a way to keep track of resident needs so they can offer the best service possible. Individual care plans help them provide applicable, consistent care when shifts change, residents move and other changes inevitably happen. Getting a feel for how nursing homes use care plans can help you take advantage of all that's available to your loved one. Read on to learn how you can help your loved one make the most of his time in nursing home care.

What is a Nursing Home Care Plan?

Nursing homes across the country have different names for care plans, but each facility no doubt has a system for recording resident needs, preferences and schedules. Of course, registered nurses (RNs), certified nursing assistants (CNAs) and other medical staff keep files on each resident, noting medications and other necessary medical care needs. Just like in hospitals, when shifts change at nursing homes, staff members share pertinent information and keep detailed notes on medical progress.

But nursing homes also maintain care plans to keep track of their residents in a more holistic way. When a new resident moves in to the nursing home, she can expect a conference with administrators, other staff and any family or close friends who play a role in her care. The meeting will cover her particular likes and dislikes, and if she has any allergies, tendencies, fears or passions that the staff should know about. Basically, nursing homes use care plans as a way to get to know their residents and provide them with personalized service.

Can I Affect the Nursing Home's Care Plan?

If you play a role in your loved one's care, it's very important that you come to care plan conferences prepared with ideas that will help him best adjust and thrive in his new environment. In addition to an initial conference, most nursing homes schedule regular care plan update meetings to make sure all care information is current and applicable. Come to as many of these as possible, bringing your own ideas and recommendations.

Did your grandmother keep a beautiful garden when she owned her home? Consider telling the nursing home's staff that she'd enjoy time outdoors either gardening or visiting a staff-kept pea patch. Did your dad fight in World War I? Maybe he would enjoy a "war movie night" or benefit from an outing to the local naval museum. Even ideas as out-of-the-box as these help the nursing home's staff create a program that best serves your loved one.

Find Nursing Homes for Your Loved One

Nursing homes today are a far cry from the nondescript, white-washed buildings portrayed in old movies. They often do all they can to provide a home-like atmosphere with nursing home facility amenities designed to serve residents physically, emotionally, socially and even academically. Find nursing homes in your area that offer these services by using the Elder Care Search box, above. Or call the toll-free number for a complimentary consultation with an elder care advisor today.