By BEN ADEL | Special to the Palisadian-Post
Many seniors now want to stay in their homes or “age in place.” Thankfully, this has never been more possible. Advances in technology and easier access to medical support are among the many things that now allow people to successfully receive care at home.
The need for care can appear slowly or come on quickly. For this reason, it’s even more important to have a plan in place. But what exactly is involved in a home care plan? And what services are available when your loved one wishes to get support at home?
A Unique, Personalized Plan of Care
Providing care at home involves many different things. Every individual has a unique situation and specific needs to be catered to. Preferences and personal choices are an important part of creating a care plan. A patient, their family or other loved ones are usually actively involved.
The plan usually includes information about the patient’s life, including abilities and goals. It will also likely include treatment, care and support and directions around what care staff need to do. It is often created by a home health agency or something similar. Some typical areas include:
- What services are needed?
- Who will provide it? i.e. home care and home health professionals
- When it will be delivered? i.e. hourly, daily, weekly
- What medical equipment is required? i.e. beds, wheelchairs
- Goals for care
- Contact information
As needs and preferences change so too does the care plan and all of those involved are updated. The plan is updated at least once every 60 days (or as often as necessary) by a doctor or home care team.
What Services are Included in a Care Plan?
Health Care & Medical Services
Often home care plans start by looking at any illnesses e.g. diabetes or arthritis that need to be managed. This will factor into what kind of support will be required.
Your care plan will likely include a list of conditions, what medications are currently being taken, healthcare providers, and strategies that help or alleviate the condition. Dosage and frequency of medication will also be included, as well as any instructions for how to administer it (should this be required by a home health staff).
The names, specialties and contact details of health care professionals will also be included, along with preferred hospitals and health insurance information.
Personal Caregiving Services
Personal caregiving can encompass a number of different things such as: bathing, dressing, getting in and out of bed, and grooming.
Patients may only need help with some tasks such as mowing the lawn or laundry, while others may need more comprehensive support. Tasks involved in a home care support plan can include: light housecleaning, making beds, grocery shopping, laundry, cleaning dishes and taking out trash.
Many suffering with limiting conditions can find it difficult to make meals in the same way that they had previous to their illnesses. Home care support can help them with this. Home care support offers: meal planning, grocery shopping for food and supplies, and cooking nutritious meals.
Social support is important at any age, including in later life. A home care plan can include assistance with: regular visits, arranging activities and companion to activities in the community.
This includes both in the home and around town, and could involve additional support such as: arranging electric chairs/wheelchairs, or providing or arranging senior transportation services.
Whatever is involved in a plan of care, one of the most important things is that the plan is based on the wishes of the person being cared for, along with their loved ones. A professional home care agency will assist in developing a plan that meets all of your loved ones needs from medication to meal planning.
Ben Adel is cofounder of Luxe Homecare, a Pacific Palisades-based homecare agency offering services in Los Angeles. They offer round-the-clock in-home supportive services, including registered nurses (RN and LVN) and rehabilitation professionals. Think your loved one might benefit from extra support? Contact the Luxe Homecare team at 310-459-3535 or visit luxehomecare.com.
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