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Helping Your Family Member Adjust to Nursing Home Living Tip #16

Nursing care plans are created for the residents living in a nursing home.  Care plans are an important part of providing quality patient care to your loved one.  They are developed as a guide for the nursing team and identify the role that nurses have in caring for the well-being and the overall health of their patients. They should address the unique needs of the patient and are goal oriented. Care plans also help provide consistent care from the different shifts and are a form of communication between the staff of the facility.   To be effective, the care plan process should also be utilized by the other interdisciplinary team members to provide care and treatment to their patients.  The interdisciplinary team members may consist of the Nurse, the Restorative Nurse, the Social Worker, the Dietician, the Activities Director and the Therapy Department.  The problems and interventions may be based on physician’s orders, facility policies or protocols or accepted standard of care. Intermittent reevaluation of the patient should occur and as changes develop, improvements are noted or declines develop, the care plans require adjustments and/or updates.  When the care plans are developed, it is important to involve the patient and family members in planning the care.  It will  be of value for the patient and family members to attend the regular care plan meetings conducted by the  interdisciplinary team and will provide an opportunity for them to get updates, ask question, discuss concerns and/or the care being provided.