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5 Tips for Personalizing Care Plans in Assisted Living

5 Tips for Personalizing Care Plans in Assisted Living

One of the most significant benefits of an assisted living community like Lakeside Assisted Living at Solterra White Mountains is 24-hour access to trained professionals who can provide all the assistance and care needed to maintain independence and high quality of life. Assisted living staff gets to know each resident and their family to create a personalized care plan that details the resident’s wants and needs. 

You might be wondering: 

  • What is a care plan in assisted living?
  • What information should you include?
  • How can you best personalize a care plan? 

Answering these questions is the key to establishing the best possible care for yourself or a loved one in an assisted living community.

What is a Care Plan in Assisted Living?

As the name suggests, a care plan is personalized information in a document outlining what specific care and support an individual needs and wants. Every assisted living resident is unique, so having a care plan enables an individualized and comprehensive approach to care. Every team member who interacts with the resident will have access to the necessary information to ensure the best possible care. 

Typically, the resident, their family members or representatives (with the resident’s permission), any involved medical or healthcare professionals (e.g., primary care physician, nurse, occupational or physical therapist, etc.), and assisted living community staff members collaborate to develop the care plan. This collaborative effort provides the most comprehensive look at the resident’s health needs, goals, and preferences. Since each contributing member has different areas of expertise and perspective, the team approach to caregiving is highly beneficial, ensuring nothing gets missed.

What Information Is Included In A Care Plan?

A suitable care plan will include physical and mental health information, social and recreational needs and interests, and safety considerations.

Physical and Mental Health 

Most care plans start with a complete health assessment to thoroughly evaluate a resident’s physical and mental health status. 

Medical care needed: All medical diagnoses, conditions, and medications should be noted. Developing a care plan should also include identifying whether a resident would benefit from assistance with activities of daily living.

Medication management: Include a detailed list of all medications, including names, types, dosage, schedule, special instructions, potential side effects, and drug interactions.

Diet and nutrition: This information should be included if the resident’s medical conditions require dietary restrictions like reduced sodium for high blood pressure. Listing religious dietary requirements (e.g., kosher or halal) and dietary preferences are also helpful. A healthcare professional or nutritionist might provide input concerning any nutritional deficits and how to address them.  

Social and Recreational Interests

Any hobbies, life achievements, and interests listed will give caregivers a fuller picture of the resident as an individual. This information will help them engage residents better as they accompany or guide them toward group activities, classes, scheduled outings, and more.

Safety and Crisis Intervention

Working together, caregivers should develop a plan and outline strategies to address emergencies or unexpected changes in the resident’s health. This plan should also include contact information for family members to be notified. Any safety concerns, fall prevention, or other necessary safety measures should be addressed. 

Tips For Personalizing Your Care Plan

When developing a care plan for yourself or a loved one, the following tips help you personalize that care plan to ensure the highest level of care:

1. Assess Current Needs

If you or your loved one needs assistance with activities of daily living, you should use a checklist to assess personal care needs. Carefully consider instrumental activities of daily living, which are more complex and involved, like cooking, driving, managing medication, housework, communication, etc. Including this information in your care plan is essential, especially when deciding on the right assisted living community. 

Solterra White Mountains in Lakeside Assisted Living community has amenities that include linen and housekeeping, dining services, and chauffeured transportation. So, being aware of these needs and communicating them in your care plan will help caregivers ensure you have access to the services you want.

2. Provide Information About Personal History

Is your loved one a veteran? Did they spend their professional lives as teachers, nurses, or law enforcement officers? Are there any accomplishments they are particularly proud of, like earning a black belt in a martial art, getting published in a magazine, or raising several children? 

Even though this information might not seem relevant at first, caregivers consider it all when getting to know the assisted living resident as a complete person. Understanding the individual within their greater life context helps staff tailor care for them specifically.

3. Set Both Short and Long-term Goals

Do you or your loved one want to improve their cardiovascular health and get more exercise? Are there hobbies or interests the resident would like to pursue or explore, like learning to crochet, paint, or play the guitar? Having goals to work toward is a key part of mental health. Setting short-term goals that are achievable sooner will help keep them motivated to work toward long-term goals. Including these goals in your care plan will provide caregivers the tools they need to help you or your loved one work toward accomplishing your goals.

4. Identify and Include Preferences

Personal preferences can and should be included in every part of your care plan. Regarding diet and nutrition, be sure to include dietary restrictions (medical and religious), food sensitivities and allergies, and favorite foods. 

When it comes to social and recreational needs, it’s important to indicate whether you are energetic and social or prefer quieter, more solitary pursuits. Caregivers will be better able to guide you toward activities, outings, and even other like-minded residents if they know your personality type and what you enjoy.

5. Have a Communication Plan in Place

Every care plan should be updated regularly, especially if there are any changes to a resident’s health or goals. It’s important to provide contact information and a communication plan for family members and representatives who should be kept informed about the resident’s well-being, any changes that occur, and any adjustments that need to be made. How often do they want to be notified? Do they want to know about all updates and changes or only health-related ones? How can they best stay involved? How can they communicate with staff? Having a plan in place from the start will help ensure open communication and involvement.

Caregiving Is Personal At Solterra

If you are looking for outstanding, affordable, resident-centered, personalized assisted living, look no further than Solterra Lakeside Assisted Living. We work hard to help our residents enjoy the lifestyle they deserve while providing the support they need to be their best. Our staff can work with your family to develop a personalized care plan and explore financial solutions. Contact us today with any questions you have or to schedule a tour to see us in person.