BlogUncategorizedCreating a Dementia Care Plan

Creating a Dementia Care Plan

A dementia care plan is a vital (and required) tool for memory care residences and home care agencies treating people with dementia. But even if you’re taking care of your loved one at home, it’s still a good idea to create a plan.

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Not only will it help family members get on the same page, but it will ensure you’re prepared in case things get worse. If you need a sudden intervention—moving your loved one to an outside facility or bringing in professional caregivers—it’s best to have a plan at the ready. Also, as dementia progresses, your loved one may not be able to express their preferences, so it’s wise to start sooner rather than later.

A care plan goes well beyond a basic list of medications or symptoms. It’s a 360-degree portrait of the person with dementia, covering abilities, interests, likes/dislikes, personal preferences, and more. It gives current and future caregivers a robust introduction to who your loved one is and how to improve their quality of life.

Your dementia care plan can take whatever form is most convenient for you: binder, folder, computer file—or any other format that works.

SAMPLE CARE PLAN 

Biography 

This should include background and biographical information.

Health history 

• Medical history

• Care needs

• Current condition

Medication schedule

• What medications does your loved one take?

• What do the medications treat?

• When should the medications be taken?

• Who administers them?

Physical exercise

• What exercise does your loved one enjoy?

• Do they have a history of exercise or sports?

• What exercise causes confusion or anxiety?

Eating patterns and schedule

• Nutritional needs?

• Favorite/least-favorite foods?

• Timing of meals?

• Where does your loved one like to eat?

Personal care

• Dressing

• Personal hygiene

• Bathing

• Toileting

Communication

Include any challenges with speech or language.

Mobility

Include information on how the person with dementia gets around, including any challenges with stairs, getting in and out of chairs or bed, dressing themselves, fine-motor skills, etc.

Cognitive ability

• Ability to reason

• Ability to plan

• Problem solving

• Comprehension

• Ability to learn from experience

Personality

• What is your loved one like? Think of traits like positive/negative, introverted/extroverted, calm/energetic, etc.

• Likes and dislikes?

• What’s their biggest accomplishment?

• What’s their biggest dream?

• What’s their biggest fear?

Family, friends, and community

• Who has regular contact with your loved one?

• With whom do they like to socialize?

Safety 

Are there any safety concerns? Walking, bathing, wandering, etc.?

Spirituality

Is your loved one spiritual? Religious? What traditions do they keep?

Highest and lowest functioning times of day 

• What time of day is your loved one most lucid?

• When are they most confused?

Brain training activities 

Are there any activities your loved one engages in that will help with cognitive ability? Crossword puzzles, documentaries, reading, painting, etc.?

Activities 

What has your loved one always enjoyed (e.g., games, crafts, movies, music, books, walks, gardening, etc.)?

• What types of activities work best?

• What activities don’t work?

• Is deviation from routine tolerated or does it cause confusion?

As you can see, there’s a lot of information to gather. Use this list as a jumping-off point—add your own categories and questions, including things that are particularly relevant to your loved one and situation. Keep in mind that the care plan is a starting point—it’s not set in stone and it should be revisited and tweaked regularly.

Once you have a fully fleshed-out picture of your loved one with dementia, you’ll be better equipped to communicate with other family members and caregivers, present and future, who may step in. The more complete the assessment, the more possible it will be to make every day a good day for your loved one with dementia.

If you’re caring for someone with dementia, we can help. Tender Rose provides expert, one-on-one care at home, exclusively for people with dementia. Our highly-trained Memory Care Professionals focus on the person behind the disease—rediscovering the things that bring joy, meaning, and dignity.



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