3 Things You Should Know About Care Plan Meetings

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After transitioning an aging spouse or relative into a Skilled Nursing Care center, many wonder how they can stay involved and ensure their loved one’s care needs are being met.

Visiting regularly and getting to know staff members are two ways to keep an eye on the type of care a relative is receiving. The best way to be informed, however, is being involved in care plan meetings.

At the beginning of each resident’s stay, care centers are required under federal regulations to assess the individual’s abilities and care needs. Those assessments are then incorporated into a care plan that outlines the types of services the resident will require and acts as a roadmap for facility staff.

Scheduled on a quarterly basis and attended by residents, families and facility staff, care plan meetings are used to review and adjust individual care plans. They are an opportunity to share your loved one’s personal preferences and ensure their medical and non-medical needs are being met to your satisfaction.

Here are three ways to get the most out of your loved one’s care plan meeting:

  1. Share background information – Sharing your loved one’s personal preferences and likes/dislikes with staff members can improve the quality of care your loved one receives. For instance, informing staff of sleeping patterns, dietary restrictions and other pertinent information can deeply impact your loved one’s daily life. 
  2. Raise questions and concerns – Before the meeting, make a list of any questions and concerns you want to raise at the meeting.  Perhaps you notice a change in your relative’s health or wonder if your loved one needs new clothes or personal items. Or maybe you noticed your loved one isn’t eating as much. Regardless of what you bring up to staff members at the meeting, it is always important to do so in a mutually respective manner.
  3. Take notes – During the meeting be sure to jot down any information you would like to discuss with your loved one, other family members or staff members. Before the meeting ends, review your notes and make sure all of your questions have been answered.

Care plan meetings are essential to ensuring quality care. If your loved one is not offered a comprehensive assessment on a quarterly basis and a subsequent care plan, notify your state’s ombudsman.

CareConversations.org provides resources and advice to help you and your loved ones make informed and confident decisions about the care they may need now and in the future. Visit our About page to learn more.