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What is a nursing home care plan?

When you move into aged care, it's not just a change in where you receive services that meets your health needs - it also includes a complete change to your living circumstances and your lifestyle.

Last updated: June 22nd 2022
Older woman discussing their nursing home care plan
Your nursing home care plan can play an important role in ensuring your new facility understands you and your needs. [Source: Shutterstock]

Key points:

  • Your care plan in a nursing home will ensure your facility is aware of your care requirements and personal needs
  • In your care plan, you should include your goals and wishes for your health and wellbeing
  • Discuss and collaborate with your aged care facility on what services you need and want

Deciding to move into an aged care home can be nerve wracking, as your day to day life and routine may be changed and challenged.

And just like you'll have to learn to get used to a new routine and environment, staff at your new facility will have to get to know you and your needs. For example, you may be allergic to fish, which is important for the facility to understand so staff know and can ensure they continue providing you allergy-free food for your needs. This is the type of information that will be documented in a care plan.

Your nursing home care plan can play an important role in ensuring your new facility understands you and your personal health and care needs.

So what goes into a nursing home care plan?



Inclusions in the care plan

Similar to a plan for receiving home care services, it will include:

  • What your care needs are while living in aged care and how they will be met, including specific accommodation (like a bed location in a dementia ward)
  • Your equipment and mobility requirements
  • Current medical treatments, conditions and medication
  • The services you will receive from your aged care facility
  • What your goals, wishes and preferences are and if you have any cultural background
  • How much these services will cost (which will also be covered in your resident agreement)
  • How your aged care facility will continue to meet your future needs so you can "age in place"
  • Measures for your aged care provider to determine if they are meeting your personal needs and health goals

If you have a care plan that has already been made by a professional, like your doctor, a community nurse or allied health professional, you can provide this to your new aged care provider as part of your care plan with the facility.

What are your goals?

When moving into aged care, it will be a big change to your day to day life. Your routine will be different and you will be dealing with aged care staff and other residents living in the same home.

Your personal goals may also change to adapt to your big move into a nursing home.

You will need to collaborate with your provider on what services and help you may need, so it is important you have a think of what you need to live well while in a nursing home.

This could be anything from assistance with eating food to support to remain involved in your local community.

Many people move into aged care because they cannot get the level of care necessary to remain living at home, however, this doesn't mean you can't still have goals you want to meet.

For example, you may have lost some mobility and want to improve on your current physical abilities through a reablement program with allied health workers.

Creating goals to improve your life is an important part of creating your plan and you should put thought into how to achieve that and how it can be reflected in your care plan.

Organising the plan

Once your provider has offered you a place, you can sit down with your new aged care facility and collaborate on a new care plan.

This care plan will pull from your Aged Care Assessment Team/Service (ACAT/S) outcome while incorporating your own personal wishes and goals for improvement.

Your provider will outline the services you are eligible for, that are outlined in your ACAT/S outcome, and will receive.

During this process, your provider will also discuss the cost of certain services. For instance, if you want a more luxurious time during your stay, you may want to receive additional or extra services. However, these services come with a cost and aren't subsidised by the Federal Government.

It is also ideal to discuss with your provider about how they will be able to manage your increased care needs if it does happen.

Your newly created care plan will be included within your resident agreement with your provider. You can expect your nursing home care plan to be reviewed at least once a year to account for any changes in your health and wellbeing.

You can find out more able legal agreements with your aged care provider in our article, 'What you need to know about your resident agreement.'

On admission

Once you're ready to move in, the facility will take you through an admission process to understand you and your needs.

You'll be asked to share information about yourself including your likes and dislikes, your hobbies and interests, your background, and what makes you tick.

Some facilities use these personal likes and dislikes as a way to better provide care that respects your dignity and rights.

It also better prepares their staff to understand what is acceptable to you when delivering care.

Some of this information may be included in your actual nursing home care plan by your aged care facility. You can notify your facility of any changes in your health, wellbeing or likes and dislikes that should be documented and known by your provider.

What do you want to be included in your nursing home care plan? Tell us in the comments below.

Related content:

What is a home care plan?
Understanding the different types of aged care agreements
What you need to know about your resident agreement

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