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Home Elderly Care What is a care plan?

What is a care plan?

A care plan is something you might have heard of before, and it can be quite daunting to think about putting one together.

However, if you or your parent have a progressive health condition or are getting older and starting to find daily life more difficult, having a care plan in place helps to give you more control over the healthcare, personal care and support services you will receive. It also helps other family members know how you wish to be treated and what is important to you.

This is a complete guide to care plans, from how they are created to who has the right to see them, to make this time a little easier.

What is a care plan?

Put simply, a care plan is a document that is created for someone receiving healthcare, personal care or support. A good care plan will have detailed information about health conditions, lifestyle, preferences and care needs. The person receiving care and what is important to them will be at the heart of the plan, ensuring that health or social care professionals know how they like to be treated and how to best care for them.

what is a care plan for the elderly

For example, if someone transitions from a carer visiting them at home to a care home, the new care workers will have the right information to provide a consistent level of care based on their needs.  

2. How is a care plan made?

Before a care plan can be created, a person’s care needs will be assessed and a risk assessment will also be carried out.

Usually, care needs are assessed by a local authority. They will help identify what someone needs support with and why they need that help. This will stem from a current physical and mental condition and can be adapted as health improves or declines.

how is a care plan made

The risk assessment is generally carried out by the organisation that is going to deliver care. This will look for potential risks and hazards to both the person receiving care and the people that provide it. It will try to determine how likely these risks are to occur and put in controls and preventative steps to manage the risk.

From here, a care plan document can be created from a discussion with you and your parent.

3. What should be included in a care plan?

A care plan should be an accurate description of the person needing care and what matters to them. This includes assessed needs, medical history, cultural and ethnic background and sexuality and gender. It will also have any associated documents and the details of family members or friends that should be updated as changes occur.

what is a care plan

It gives the individual a chance to express who they would like to provide their care, when it should be given and how to help maintain their quality of life. For example, a woman might only want to be assisted by female carers, and can stipulate this in her care plan.We like that the process is very intuitive and easy to follow and that their support team is responsive and always happy to help. Included in the price is 5 years of free, unlimited updates to the Will. 

It will also include costs of services and a personal budget in the care plan.

4. How is a care plan used?

A care plan will be the main source of information for healthcare or social care professionals. It will help them understand how they need to help someone, what medications they take and what their preferences are. It means the service user will receive the same care no matter who is on shift.

It can also be used by GPs, nurses, pharmacists and local authorities as conditions change.

what is a care plan

5.How does a care plan help me?

Having a good care plan in place will keep the person receiving care safe and makes sure they live their life to the fullest. As the person receiving care and their families will be included in this, they have more control and can maintain independence for as long as possible. It will have details about their hobbies and interests so that care workers can encourage them to keep up with them.

It should help to understand their condition, as well as helping their family to understand their wishes and how best to help. It also ensures that any care received is recorded.

6. What makes a good care plan?

The best care plan is one that is person-centred. It will have your parent, their wishes and preferences, at the heart of it. It will be adapted to suit each person and continue to be reviewed after it has been made to make sure it has up to date information. The person that the care plan refers to should be able to understand the plan.

However, a care plan should not be the only thing that dictates quality of care. Care providers will encourage choices and decisions and questions to get to know each individual to help them to provide outstanding care.

Ultimately, a care plan can provide some clarity in a confusing time. It is hard to accept help, and a care plan might initially sound like giving up control. But if someone can participate fully in the creation of their care plan, they will actually have more control in the long run. Even if their condition worsens, their wishes and preferences will be documented to help them live life how they want to.

FAQs on What is a care plan?

What is a care plan in health and social care?

In a health and social care setting, a care plan lets professionals know what someone can do for themselves, what equipment they need and what they need help with. This means they will have everything they need, whether it is a zimmer frame to walk with or a full body hoist, as soon as they arrive.

How do I know if I need a care plan?

The best advice is that the earlier you plan, the more control you have. If you or your parent have a disability, a progressive illness, an ongoing health condition or are simply getting older, it might be time to make your plan.

How do I get a care plan?

To start the process, get in touch with the social services at your local council. They will be able to carry out a care assessment which is the first step.

How often is a care plan reviewed?

After the first few months of a care plan’s creation, it will be reviewed. From there, it should be reviewed at least once a year and whenever changes occur in health conditions.

Do I have to live in a care home to get a care plan?

No. A care plan does not have to be just for care homes. It can be used whether the person receives care at home or support services. It will change as their needs change.

What if I am unhappy with my care plan?

If you or your parent feel the document is not an accurate reflection of the situation, you can complain to your local authority. You can also discuss with their care provider if you would like any changes to be updated.

How is personal information used?

<h3>How is personal information used?</h3>

All of personal information is protected under GDPR guidelines. The care plan can be used by health and social care professionals, the service user and their family. It will be stored securely by the care organisation.

Does my financial information go into my care plan?

A care plan will detail the cost of care, a personal budget and how someone wishes to pay. Most commonly, people prefer to pay by direct payments and this will go into the care plan.

There are many different options for finding the right care for a parent or relative.  You can find out about these, and different funding options in our Care hub.