If you’re loved one is entering into a nursing home, it’s important to understand the care they’ll receive to ensure they will have what they need to meet their care goals. Nursing homes have specific ways they handle developing patient care plans, so you’ll want to understand that unique process. It, however, is important to note that federally-funded facilities are required to meet certain requirements when it comes to developing care plans. To understand if your loved one will be taken care of properly, let’s start by looking at what a patient care plan is.
What Is a Patient Care Plan?
When it comes time for a person to enter into a short-term or long-term care facility, the nursing home staff has to gather a patient’s health information and review their condition to prepare a care plan. The resident and their family have the right to take part in planning the care with the nursing home staff.
According to Medicare: there are plan basics that facilities need to follow, including:
- A health assessment that begins on the day you’re admitted and must be completed within 14 days of admission
- A health assessment at least every 90 days after the first review and as needed based on medical status
- Ongoing regular assessment
In addition to those elements, care plans may also include the personal or health care services needed, the type of staff needed, how often the services are needed, what type of equipment and supplies are needed, the type of preferred diet, how the care plan will help the resident reach their goals, and information on whether the resident plans to return to the community.
The initial assessment helps the staff learn important information about the resident by looking at needs, strengths, goals, life history, and preferences. It also examines routines, habits, activities, and relationships to determine what will make a person more comfortable.
What Are a Resident’s Rights in the Care Planning Process?
A nursing home resident has specific rights in regard to their care planning process. To start, they or their family should have access to documentation like the initial care plan, baseline care plan, resident admission summary, and care plan meeting summaries.
As time in the nursing home passes, the resident has the right to request a care plan meeting if they feel they are not receiving what they need. Meetings are a good way for the facility to learn about the resident’s likes and dislikes, how they’re adjusting to the move, and how their habits or lifestyle has changed.
The Right to Refuse Care
A stable, mentally sound resident has the right to choose or refuse any care or treatment they are offered, at any time and for any reason. This means that doctors, nurses, and medical staff must tell patients about the care and treatment they want to provide before anything happens. This ensures informed consent. Residents need to be made aware of the risks and benefits of any treatment or procedure. Once the information has been explained, the resident or their representative can approve the treatment or refuse—regardless of the consequences.
How to Advocate for Your Loved One
The nursing home facility is supposed to honor your loved one’s choices about care, services, daily schedule, and life in the facility. In order to ensure the nursing home doesn’t just go through the motions, you can help your loved one assert their rights before, during, and after patient care plan meetings.
Before a meeting, make sure the meeting is scheduled with sufficient time to discuss everything. Also, make sure any communication or language barriers will be addressed. You should also take the time to plan a list of questions and determine if changes to the care plan should be made.
At the meeting, be sure to speak up for your loved one. It’s easy to let the professionals do all the talking, but if you think something should be different, say something. If you don’t understand something, ask questions. Remember that your loved one does not have to accept any changes to their care plan that they or you do not agree with.
Once a care plan meeting has concluded, make sure to get a copy of the written plan. This way, you’ll be aware of what changes were made, and you can ensure that your loved one receives the best care.
Need Help? Contact Thomas Law Offices
If you believe your loved one was injured because their care plan wasn’t followed or wasn’t sufficient, legal action may be available. The nursing home abuse attorneys from Thomas Law Offices represent victims of nursing home abuse and neglect, and we can determine if your loved one’s care should have been handled differently. Contact us today to learn more.