What is a Care Plan and How Does It Benefit Your Loved One?

Chris Williams
March 8, 2024

If your loved one needs some extra care and support, they will have a care plan.

If they have never had support from a paid care worker before, this may be a new process for the whole family. However, care plans are designed to help your loved one receive the right support for them.

Anyone who receives care from an agency or personal assistant, or who lives in a care home, will have a care plan. It means that your loved one and everyone involved in their care knows what is needed.

What is a care plan? 

A care plan is a document that specifies someone’s needs and wishes, and explains what kind of support they will receive.

Care plans are personalised. This means that your loved one’s care plan will be specific to them and their wishes and needs, allowing the care team to provide person-centred care.

Your loved one’s care plan should focus on their desired outcomes. These are goals that they are working towards – maybe they want to avoid going to hospital if possible, or continue preparing their own meals with help. 

The care plan should include:

  • Information about your loved one’s care needs
  • What your loved one’s wishes and desired outcomes are, and how the care team can measure them
  • How the care team will help your loved one – for example, do they need help with dressing, taking medication or preparing meals? How often do they need help?
  • Risk assessments – for example, are there any fire risks or trip hazards in their environment? 

Many care plans start with a photo of the person, so that the care team know them at a glance.

Care plans should also include any additional important information about the person, such as:

  • Allergies, to food, medication or anything else
  • Medical conditions or other difficulties your loved one may have, such as problems with swallowing
  • Dietary requirements, such as being vegetarian or vegan, or strong food preferences
  • Religious beliefs, heritage or anything else very important to your loved one

Types of care plan 

There are several types of care plan. Which type your loved one will have will depend on their condition and needs. 

A nursing care plan may be needed for someone with particular medical needs. People who live in a nursing home will often have a nursing care plan, but some people who receive care at home will also need one. If your loved one needs wound care, support with a catheter or stoma, or help with certain medical conditions, they may have a nursing care plan.

A dementia care plan is needed if your loved one has a diagnosis of dementia. A dementia care plan may go into more detail about your loved one’s life and history. This allows the care team to get to know your loved one and their preferences, even if they sometimes struggle to communicate.

If your loved one doesn’t need either of those, they will probably have a more general care plan. This plan will still be personalised and will take their needs, wishes, personal history and individual preferences into account. 

Why are care plans important?

Care plans are vital, both for the person who receives care and the people who support them. A good care plan can help your loved one stay as independent as possible for as long as possible.

How do care plans help care workers? 

As care professionals, care plans help us provide effective care. This means that the support we give your loved one achieves what we set out to do, and gives your relative a good quality of life. 

Carers will use the care plan to know what they should do to support your loved one during each care visit. This may include everything from information about the care services needed to personal preferences about food and drink.

If there are any particular risks about your loved one’s care, a care plan can help the care team manage this. For example, if your loved one is likely to refuse medication or become aggressive, the care plan and risk assessments will have a plan of action.

How do care plans help people receiving care? 

Your loved one can feel confident knowing that their care plan tells them what to expect. They should know who will visit them, and what they will do to support them at each visit. This can give them – and you – peace of mind.

A care plan may also help your loved one understand and cope with their health conditions better. Knowing that a carer will support them to be as independent as possible may help if they are struggling to adjust to having new limitations, such as dietary restrictions or mobility difficulties.

If your loved one has a diagnosis of dementia or struggles to communicate, a care plan can provide extra reassurance. It clearly sets out their needs and preferences. You and your loved one needn’t worry that anything will be missed out.

Your loved one will also have a range of risk assessments completed before they receive care. These are designed to support them and make them safe, while also enabling them to continue doing things that they enjoy.

The Tiggo Care process

If you contact the team at Tiggo Care about home care for your loved one, we’ll talk you through our process.

Firstly, our Care Manager will provide a free consultation. We’ll talk with you and your loved one about their needs. Before you talk to the Care Manager, it might help to think about a few things:

  • What areas does your loved one struggle with?
  • How often do you or someone else need to help your loved one?
  • Does your loved one currently receive any external help, such as cleaning or oral and foot care?
  • Do they need help at night as well as during the day? 

Next, we’ll agree a visit schedule with you and your loved one. This will depend on your loved one’s needs and preferences. Some people may need regular care multiple times a day, night care or even live-in care, whereas others might just need someone to pop in once or twice a week.

Our Field Care Supervisor will visit your loved one to complete a more detailed assessment. This will form the basis of the care plan.

Finally, we’ll introduce your loved one to the carers who will support them. We know that it can be distressing for many people to have strangers coming into their home. Because of this, we want to introduce your loved one to their carers before they start providing personal care

At Tiggo Care, all of our clients have at least two regular carers in their home care plan. This means that, even if one carer is away, your loved one will still see someone that they know.

Every Tiggo Care client will have a needs assessment, individual care plan, and 12 risk assessments on file. This allows us to provide just the right care for your loved one.

Involving the person 

Your loved one should be involved in the care planning process as much as possible. After all, they’re the one who knows their own wishes and needs the most.

We appreciate that this may be difficult for some people. However, even if your loved one can’t easily speak to the care team, or if they aren’t able to make decisions on their own behalf, we would still encourage them to be present for discussions about their future care. They can have as much input as they are comfortable with.

The more involved that your loved one can be, the more likely they are to be comfortable and receive the right care for them. We want to ensure that they are happy with their care, and that it’s tailored to their wishes and desired outcomes.

Care plan reviews 

We know that health and care needs can fluctuate. At times, your loved one may need more or less support, depending on their condition. Care plans are flexible and should be reviewed if your loved one’s needs change.

Your loved one may have a care plan review because their circumstances have changed. For example, they may have moved to a new environment. Perhaps their health condition has changed, or they are now receiving different help from friends or family members. A care plan may also be reviewed if your loved one would like to try meeting a new goal, such as attending community events or going to a class, and needs support.

Even if your loved one’s condition has not noticeably changed, care plans should still be reviewed regularly – at least once a year.

How to complain if you aren’t happy 

If you or your loved one are not happy with their care plan, or are worried that it’s not being followed, there are several options.

Firstly, please do talk to us. 

During our initial planning meeting, care assessment and reviews, there will be plenty of opportunities to ask questions, and we encourage you and your loved one to do so. If you have questions or concerns later on, please call, email or speak to a member of the care team.

We’ll give you details about our complaints procedure when we’re arranging the care plan.

You can also take any concerns to CQC (the Care Quality Commission) or the Social Care Ombudsman.

What is a Care Plan and How Does It Benefit Your Loved One? 

Your loved one’s care plan is a key tool in helping them to live comfortably.

Anyone with care needs may have a care plan, whether they receive regular home care, respite care, visit a day centre for support, or live in a care or nursing home.

A care plan should include information about their care needs, their wishes and preferences, how the care team will help them, and any necessary risk assessments.

Frequently Asked Questions
What is a care plan?

A care plan is a document that’s used when someone needs care and support. It sets out their care needs, wishes about their care, and the outcomes that they hope to achieve. Care plans are useful both for care providers and the people who receive care.

What support will be included in my care plan?

Your care plan will include all of the support that you are expected to need. For example, if you need help with washing, dressing or taking medication, this will all be included. If your care needs change in the future, your care plan can be reviewed.

Am I involved in the creation of my care plan?

Yes, you should always be involved in the process. It’s a record of your needs, wishes and desired outcomes, and you are the person who knows the most about them. Care teams, local authorities and family members should not assume that you lack mental capacity, and even if you find it difficult to understand what’s happening, you should still be supported to be involved.

Is a care plan a legal requirement?

If you have care needs and are receiving care from a home care agency, personal assistant, or care home, you should have a care plan. There are several legal requirements about care planning. You must be allowed to be involved in the care planning process, even if you struggle to understand or make decisions. Your care plan must also be reviewed regularly.

Let us be your helping hand

Get in touch with Tiggo Care today to see how we can help you or your loved one.

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