Iowa Nursing Home Care Plans

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Posted by Pressley Henningsen

If your loved one is being admitted to a nursing home, you may hear about something called a “care plan.”  But what is a care plan and where should you begin?  Let’s discuss the ins and outs of nursing home care plans.

What is a Nursing Home Care Plan?

A care plan is a written document used in nursing homes and other care facilities to establish individualized medical and non-medical needs for each resident.  Each resident’s care plan is developed based on their own needs and preferences.  Facilities then use this plan as a playbook of how they should assist that resident during their stay.

What Should Be Included in a Care Plan?

A care plan can include:

  • What medications are needed, what dosages are required, and how often they should be given
  • Any special diets or food preferences
  • Whether any special equipment is needed (like a wheelchair, a feeding tube, a walker, etc.)
  • How often they want to participate in social activities
  • Physical or mental health goals
  • Anything else you specifically want to appear on the care plan.

Care plans are developed by a team of individuals involved in your loved one’s care.  This can include doctors, nurses, and other nursing home staff, such as counselors or dieticians.  Your loved one, or someone who acts on their behalf, has the right to participate in forming this care plan.

Don’t be afraid to speak up about what your loved one likes and dislikes, especially if they are not able to communicate this themselves.  The nursing home is being paid to care for your loved one, and staff should fulfill your loved one’s needs if at all possible.  If you feel your opinions are ignored or pushed aside, do not hesitate to address this concern with staff.

Nursing Home Care Plans Need Regular Review

Any care plan should be reviewed regularly to make sure they’re still appropriate for your loved one.  For instance, if your loved one recently had a stroke and now suffers left-side paralysis, they may now need help with toileting or feeding themselves.  Their care plan should be updated accordingly to reflect these changes.

Check to See the Care Plan is Being Followed

Once the care plan is in place, be sure to check that it’s being followed.  Many times, staff can become lax in following each individual’s care plan.  It may not seem like a big deal that staff isn’t feeding your loved one at the same exact time each day – but staff could just as easily be neglecting your loved one with their toileting needs or something more serious.

For instance, if your loved one requires help with going to the bathroom, and staff is not around to help them, they may try to make it to the bathroom on their own.  This is very hazardous, as they could fall and seriously injure themselves.

If you find that the care plan is not being followed, speak with the nursing home administration about what you’ve seen.  It’s a good idea to keep a written record of any issues so you can provide concrete examples when you are asked about them.

Do You Need an Iowa Nursing Home Abuse Attorney?

If your loved one’s care plan has not been followed and it has led to them suffering serious injuries, you may need a nursing home neglect attorney’s help.  Call RSH Legal at 1-319-774-1783 and speak with one of our nursing home abuse lawyers today.

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