If your loved one’s care is now in your hands and you’re feeling overwhelmed with how to manage, consider making a care plan.
What is a care plan?
A care plan is a form that outlines someone’s health conditions, current treatments, and specific care requirements. The plan should summarize what needs to be done to meet the person’s care needs. A care plan can give you the confidence that you’re meeting your loved one’s needs by helping you organize and prioritize caregiving tasks.
What should I include in the care plan?
The CDC states you should include:
- Personal information (name, birthday, contact information)
- Health conditions
- Medications, dosages, and when/how given
- Healthcare providers with contact information
- Health insurance information
- Emergency contacts
How do I develop a care plan?
- Start by initiating a care planning conversation with the person who needs care. You can use the CDC care plan template to help guide the discussions.
- If the care recipient can’t provide all the required information, reach out to others who may be able to help complete the form ( a family member or home nurse aide).
- Look into which care options are suitable for the person you care for. Medicare covers appointments to discuss advanced care plans and how to manage the patient’s chronic conditions. This includes planning appointments for people with Alzheimer’s, other dementias, memory problems, or possible cognitive impairment.
- Try to update the care plan once a year, or however often the person has a change in health and medications.
- Remember to honor the privacy of the care recipient after receiving personal information and discussing their health conditions.
What are the benefits of a care plan?
- Care plans can decrease emergency room visits and hospitalizations for the person you’re caring for. It also can overall improve medical management for individuals with a chronic health condition such as Alzheimer’s.
- Care plans support not only the care recipient but you as well, so you can stay healthy too.
- Care plans help maintain the care recipient’s quality of life and independence for as long as possible.
What about my health?
Caregivers tend to forget their own health needs when taking care of a loved one. This can cause them to face burnout and other serious health conditions. As a caregiver, it is important to discuss your needs as well with your healthcare provider. The CDC states close to 2 out of 5 people face at least two chronic health conditions. Neglecting your health will not only negatively affect you but the person you’re caring for as well. Be sure to consider your needs too when discussing your loved one’s care plan.
Creating a care plan is a great first step to taking care of your loved one. Establishing a written plan helps you prioritize their needs and improve their overall quality of life. 1+1 Cares provides additional tips for caregiving successfully.
1+1 Cares is a referral agency that works for clients and caregivers. We match caregivers with clients and inform them of your requirements. We work for you so you and your loved one can have a safe, enjoyable caregiving experience.