What is a care plan?
In essence, a care plan is a way to agree how someone’s health and social needs can be met, and how their health and wellbeing will be supported. They are very important documents that professionals, clients and their families share and are the means of communicating an approach, a service or treatment between all those involved.
Care planning involves gathering information and sharing stories of all those involved with the decision making. This helps to establish clear and mutual expectations with clients, exploring and discussing choices to help work out what’s important and what the implications are of those choices. By carefully planning this process you can establish an action plan so that everyone knows their roles, who is responsible for what and when it will be reviewed.
The care plan is also a written record of a plan of action negotiated with the person requiring care, whether that be home care or residential care. It sets out the what, when and why’s of that plan. They support the safety of the client and will be coordinated by the most appropriate person such as a Care Coordinator.
Why are care plans important?
There are a number of valuable reasons why care plans are so important:
Firstly, they are person centred which means they are developed around the individual and what is important to them. The client’s needs come first and these plans are a way to pinpoint exactly what’s important, what their expectations are and how this care will be provided.
They are a way of gathering extremely detailed information enabling the care provider to maintain continuity of care at all times. Every care professional who visits that client will have access to the information they need about that person for example; what medication they need to take and when, what sort of food they like for lunch, how they take their tea, do they prefer shower gel or soap etc. Care plans keep routines and structure in place for clients and ensure they are kept safe and happy.
The GoodOaks care plan process
A member of our care team will come to your home and meet you, taking time to get to know you as a person, your family members, your likes and dislikes. Along with a detailed care assessment, we will carry out at least three risk assessments that include moving and handling, environmental and medication. We use all of the above information to form our care plans. This will help us to build a plan of care with you, detailing exactly how you would like to be cared for.
Example: The format of our care plans:
About me – Care plans are always written in the first person, for example, “My name is Jonathan and I would like you to call me Jon”.
Each stage of the day is then carefully documented around the clients care needs, preferences, medication and routines. A day may run something like this:
Morning routine “ I am an early riser and normally wake at 7am.”
Toileting “Please ask me if I need the toilet when I wake up.”
Nutrition “I like to have my breakfast before I get dressed.”
Personal care “I can sometimes struggle with my personal care and would like to be given a choice each morning of either a bath or shower.”
Bedding “Please check my bedding is not wet in the morning.”
Hydration “Please ensure I drink 5-6 glasses of water a day.”
This level of detail will be on every visit we provide to you. Additional visits may also be added for things such as cleaning, shopping or outings, depending on each person’s needs.
Every time our care professionals visit our client they follow the plan ensuring each element has been done, checking it off the list on their tablet and writing detailed notes on the visit and the tasks they have carried out. This is imperative to provide continuity of care.
If anything changes we are able to adapt and evolve these plans to work around new schedules, all while keeping our lines of communication wide open to ensure everything is seamless between client, care professionals, care teams and family members.
Care plans are not just a piece of paper or a bureaucratic requirement, but rather a vital tool for ensuring the best possible care for our loved ones.
At GoodOaks we understand the importance of care plans and how they can help us tailor our services to meet the unique needs and preferences of each individual we serve. To speak to a member of our team click here.