Creating a customised care plan for elderly individuals can be a relatively challenging task. Such a plan should encompass everything the individual requires to remain healthy and comfortable. Therefore, an effectively crafted care plan requires a thoughtful and personalised approach. You might be wondering, “what is a care plan?” So, before we get into planning for elder care, it is essential to get the question out of the way.
What is a Care Plan?
A care plan is a personalised document that details the specific care and support requirements of an individual. It is commonly crafted by caregivers to ensure optimal assistance for individuals with disabilities, aging, health issues or other challenges. A customised care plan is a necessity when it comes to elderly care as it makes work easier and enhances the quality of life for both seniors and their caregivers.
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How to Write a Care Plan to Meet the Senior’s Unique Needs
When creating a care plan for elderly individuals, it is essential to understand and address the senior’s unique needs and preferences. That is important because:
- It promotes a person-centred care plan
- It preserves their dignity and respect (as it considers the senior’s preferences)
- It increases compliance and cooperation
- It promotes effective communication
- It minimises resistance to care
With that in mind, tailoring a customised care plan for an elderly individual should start with a thorough assessment process. The primary purpose of this process is to evaluate the individual’s physical, emotional, social and spiritual needs.
That equips the caregiver with comprehensive information that forms a basis for care planning specific to the senior’s unique needs. Here is what the initial assessment process involves:
- Medical history assessment – to discover existing conditions and past treatments
- Physical health assessment – assess mobility and sensory functions
- Cognitive and mental health assessment – evaluate senior’s cognitive functions and mental health
- Emotional assessment – evaluate emotional well-being and social connectedness
It is also essential to incorporate a collaborative care planning approach when planning for elder care. That leverages the expertise of a wide range of experts, perspectives of family members and the senior receiving care, ensuring the resulting care plan is more comprehensive, personalised and effective in enhancing the quality of life for the senior and caregiver.
How to Establish Clear and Realistic Goals for the Care Plan
Now that we have answered the question, “what is a care plan?” the next step is understanding how to set clear and realistic goals for the care plan. Your plan should have clear and achievable goals as it provides focused, measurable and individualised care. It also promotes collaboration among caregivers, aids in resource allocation and acts as a motivation towards improving the individual’s well-being.
It is essential to involve seniors in goal-setting for the care plan as it respects their autonomy. That means it acknowledges their right to make decisions about their own care, promotes a sense of control over their life and, most importantly, ensures a more personalised care plan that caters to their specific needs.
Resources for Caregiving
When learning how to write a care plan, it is essential to consider the resources available for caregiving. The three available options include professional caregivers, family members and friends. Each resource has its own benefits and limitations, and you need to understand these dynamics to make more informed decisions that align with the senior’s needs.
Professional caregiving refers to the provision of care by professionally trained and employed individuals working in the caregiving industry. Here are a few pros and cons of professional caregiving:
- Expertise and training
- Consistent and reliable support
- Access to specialised services
- Respite for family caregivers
- Limited personal connection
- Impersonal care
- High turnover rate
Family caregiving refers to care provision by individuals related to the elderly individual. Here are some pros and cons of family caregiving:
- Personalised care
- Emotional connection
- Cost savings
- Mutual support
- Lack of professional training
- Emotional strain
- Limited time for self-care
- Physical and financial strain
Refers to caregiving by individuals close to the senior but not family members. Here are the pros and cons:
- Companionship and emotional support
- Flexible relationship dynamics
- Shared interests and hobbies
- Less formality and easier communication
- Potential strain on friendship
- Varied level of training and expertise
- Resource limitation
How to Create a Daily Routine for an Elderly Loved One
Once you have assessed the needs and set goals for the care plan, the final step is to create a care routine. A well-thought-out daily routine should cover key aspects, including meal planning, medication management, personal care and activities/exercises for the elderly.
Here is a guide to these four key aspects of daily elderly care routine:
- Medication management – Create a schedule for medication administration to ensure timely doses. Consider pill organisers or other compliance aids to reduce the risk of errors. Do not forget to set reminders if you have trouble sticking to the schedule.
- Meal planning – Assess the individual’s dietary requirements and restrictions before planning meals. Ensure you include a balanced diet in every meal. Meal times should be regular to establish a consistent eating routine.
- Personal care – Personal care involves everything from bathing and grooming to dressing and skin care. When scheduling personal care activities, consider the individual’s preferences and mobility challenges.
- Activities and exercises – These should include physical activities, mental stimulation and social interactions. Focus more on activities that enhance mobility and strength, stimulate the mind and encourage them to socialise.
Tailoring care to suit each individual’s unique needs, preferences and aspirations is crucial to respecting their autonomy and enhancing the overall quality of life. It fosters better engagement, motivation and a sense of control, contributing to the success of the care journey. As you navigate the complex journey of care planning for seniors, it is essential to seek the guidance of a professional caregiver. Contact Veritas Care today for a complete care assessment and additional information on creating a customised care plan for elderly individuals.