care plan importance

The EasyLiving CarePlan™ is our proprietary process for providing customized care for our home care clients. Our team is here today to explain what a care plan is, what makes EasyLiving’s proprietary care plan special and how the care plan drives quality home care service delivery.

What is a care plan?

A care plan is, simply, a written outline of care being provided, most often in various healthcare settings. A nursing home, for example, must have a specific care plan for each resident and regulations strictly guide what must be in the care plan, how often it is updated and who is involved in the process. Any care plan should start from the point of view of an assessment (understanding the person’s situation and identifying areas of concern, in order to determine the plan that is right for that individual). Most healthcare professionals today would agree that patient input (or that of a substitute decision-maker such as healthcare surrogate or guardian) plays an important role in the care plan as well, though the extent to which this truly happens varies.

As Holly F. Sox, RN, BSN, RAC-CT, shares on, “Care planning is an essential part of healthcare, but is often misunderstood or regarded as a waste of time. Without a specific document delineating the plan of care, important issues are likely to be neglected. Care planning provides a ‘road map’ of sorts, to guide all who are involved with a patient/resident’s care.” This is a very accurate description, and as she shares, one that is not always appreciated by providers. Too often a care plan is seen as paperwork that needs to be completed by care providers who feel they know what they’re doing and don’t need a document to tell them what to do. However, as we know from a lot of experience as elder advocates in many settings, without this road map mistakes are more likely to occur and care often does not achieve intended goals (those involved may not even understand the goals for care).

As we have shared before, private duty home care is often less regulated than other entities (varies by state; here’s info for Florida home healthcare regulations) and may not have requirements or oversight on care planning (or anything!). Make sure you find out about this when researching care options.

What is the EasyLiving CarePlan™?

The EasyLiving proprietary careplan was developed based on our many years of experience as eldercare advocates. Having started Aging Wisely professional care management many years prior, we had worked with hundreds of families setting up and monitoring care. We had seen the good, the bad and the ugly. We felt compelled to create a service that would provide quality results for elders and their families. We knew the only way to do this was to focus on having the best, most prepared caregivers and to do everything we could to support them. Our systems are essential to this. We don’t ever want to send a caregiver out to a client unprepared. The care plan is the map that helps guide that caregiver.

Our care plan starts, as all good care plans should, with the assessment.

We created a unique questionnaire to make this process even better for clients. Our Life History & Daily Routines Questionnaire helps us explore the personal pieces of good care that are too often neglected. We want to know the client. When someone is coming into your home, you don’t want them to suddenly change your whole routine. The little things are the things that will make home care successful. How do you like your laundry done? When do you prefer to eat? What foods do you like (or hate)? What irritates you? What are your interests/what do you like to talk about?

The assessment process also includes gathering the vital medical and personal information, discussing needs and desires and a professional assessment to explore the concerns and solutions needed.

From this information, our team creates the written plan. We use an electronic care management system, so the information can be easily shared among your care team (caregivers, supervisors, family members, client and permitted providers).

How does the care plan work?

Creating a care plan is only step one. We use our electronic system to share the careplan with your care team. We also provide quality assurance to make sure the careplan is working, with home visits, caregiver coaching and quality assurance follow up calls. Our Staffing Supervisor attends the initial meeting with your caregiver to set things up for success. She contacts the caregiver after the first visit to see if any adjustments need to be made. Our Client Care Coordinator does the same on the client side.

The care plan is a working document, meant to change as your needs do. We do a regular review, but we also take input from clients, families, caregivers and other providers when a change needs to be made. When you have a transition (hospitalization, post-rehab, surgery, etc.) we re-evaluate and update the care plan.

The EasyLiving Difference

Our caregivers, who typically have worked at many other home care companies and care facilities, regularly comment on how different the EasyLiving process and careplan is. During orientation we talk about our mission and why we take such a different approach. The caregivers have rarely been given all the information and tools they need, even while they tried to do the best job for their clients. Our clients and families make similar comments if they have experienced other care in the past. They often remark that no one asked for their input before and are surprised we will tailor care to their wishes. The EasyLiving careplan is just one piece of the EasyLiving difference, our unique methods of ensuring the best possible care for you.

Want to experience the EasyLiving difference yourself? Contact us at 727-447-5845 to learn more!