Introducing a carer into the life of a loved one is an important process. For the relationship between all parties to be successful, decisions will need to be made on both an emotional and practical level and shouldn’t be rushed.
In this guide, we offer some care plan examples as well as points to consider when going through the process of selecting a carer.
1. What is a care plan?
A care plan is a record of needs, actions and responsibilities which can be used and understood by individuals receiving care, their families and their care provider(s).
2. What should a care plan contain?
While the plan will be unique to the individual, the following headings are useful in helping you to make sure you capture everything necessary.
What needs to happen to ensure the person receiving care is safe? Examples could include supervision when eating to avoid choking, avoidance of substances that could cause an allergic reaction or removing trip hazards.
How best can their mental health needs be met? Are they able to participate in activities and maintain social connections?
How can the individual’s physical needs best be met? For example, do they need assistance with mobility or wound care? Can they prepare and cook their own meals?
This is all about the individual and their preferences – making a record of what makes them feel happy and valued.
You may find it useful to write a list of specific things that your loved one needs help with such as:
- • Eating properly
- • Looking after personal hygiene
- • Going to the toilet
- • Getting dressed
- • Seeing family and friends
- • Using local services
3. What examples of care plans are available?
If your loved one is entitled to a Care Needs Assessment the resultant care plan will depend on the relevant Local Authority. More information on care needs assessments can be found on the NHS website
The following are some examples of care plans that you may find useful:
- • Easy Read Care Plan
- • Care Plan for Dementia
- • Detailed Care Plan – This is a long document, created by Partnership in Care Training (PaCT) but it does have some excellent templates focusing on areas such as daily activities and individual needs.
4. Selecting a carer
Once you’re clear on the needs that must be met, you can progress to seeking out appropriate support. In the case of Helpd, this begins by taking a look at the profiles of the carers we have available.
It is helpful to discuss in advance your loved one’s preferences when it comes to personality – would they prefer someone who is bubbly and talkative, or a person who is quietly capable?
From here you can progress to interview. This process should involve you and the person receiving care. If you are using a reputable provider, background checks and references will be provided – don’t be afraid to ask for these details up front.
5. Questions to ask when interviewing a carer
The following questions may be useful as a means to open up a conversation:
“What made you want to become a carer?”
“What training have you undertaken?”
“How do you record what you have done at each visit?”
“What happens if you’re unwell and you can’t come out?”
“What do you enjoy most about being a carer?”
Which? also has some very good resources focusing on later life care including additional questions to ask.
Once the interview is over, don’t feel pressured to make an immediate decision – it is important that the partnership works for everyone. A professional carer will not mind if you request a follow-up interview or some time to decide.
6. Managing the ongoing relationship
Once you have appointed a carer, it’s important to regularly review the arrangement to make sure that your loved one’s needs are being met. Aside from regular ongoing conversations, it is valuable to have a more structured review. This could be as simple as asking the following three questions of your loved one each month:
- • Have your needs changed in any of the care plan areas?
- • How do you feel about the care you are receiving?
- • What is going well and what could be improved?
From here, you’ll have a basis to speak to the carer and make any necessary adjustments to ensure that the relationship with the carer continues to be a success.
At Helpd, we provide a dedicated online introductory service that puts you in control of care to make sure that it meets your plans. To find out more, visit www.helpd.co.uk