The Care Plan – The Carer’s Bible

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I have decided to make a difference to the way carers look after people with dementia by suggesting to make some additions to the care plan. (This is the background information on the person with dementia eg likes, dislikes, hobbies, medical conditions etc….). In my opinion it is the most important document every carer should read and remember.

I have realised that in a single week Dad may be exposed to up to 30 different carers or nurses of different cultural backgrounds, skills, knowledge and expertise. What are the chances of one of them not knowing how to handle dementia or accidentally trigger some undesirable behaviour from a resident? I would say EXTREMELY HIGH.

Agency staff are often used to fill gaps in the roster and these people have to walk into an aged care facility, with no knowledge of the facility or the residents and just start caring.

As aggressive behaviour is the most concerning of behaviours in a nursing home, I believe it can be short-circuited in a simple manner. Simply add two new sections to the care plan.

1. Flashpoints

This is simply a list of events during a day that may cause a resident to become agitated. Eg using a cold flannel in shower, getting arm stuck when putting on a dressing gown, or giving medication on a spoon etc. if the carer knows when to be alert the caring experience can be a lot smoother.

2. Signs of Agitation

This is a list of triggers or signs/clues that indicate a resident is becoming agitated. Eg pulling on bed sheets, bad language, eye rolling, rigid hands etc….these clues will allow a carer to predict when things are escalating.

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