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Ten Questions to Ask During a Nursing Home Care Plan Meeting

What Is a Care Plan Meeting?

When a resident is admitted to any long-term care facility that accepts Medicare or Medicaid, the staff is required to assess the new resident, determine his or her needs, outline goals and create an overall plan of care for the patient’s stay at the facility. Essentially, the care plan provides specific instructions for each staff member on how to care for the unique resident he or she is assisting.

After the initial assessment is made, follow-up meetings will occur once every three months to reevaluate and determine if progress is being made on achieving set goals. Additionally, any changes that need to be made to the care plan are discussed as well.

Typically, medical professionals from nearly all disciplines attend the meetings, including nurse aides, nurses, physical therapists, social workers, dieticians, and any other staff members who provide care or assist in organizing daily activities for the resident. Residents and their family members are highly encouraged to attend the care plan conferences if possible.

What Questions Should Family Members Ask During Care Plan Meetings?

If you are an advocate for your loved one in a long-term care facility, it is essential to attend care plan meetings to ensure your family member or friend is truly receiving the best care. Furthermore, it is your right to know how your loved one’s health is progressing, and you are encouraged to make suggestions, voice concerns, convey your loved one’s wishes and ask questions during these conferences.

The following questions, some of which were originally suggested on Angie’s List, may be good starting points to determine the quality of care your loved one is receiving:

  1. Has the status of my loved one’s health or behavior changed at all since the last meeting? If so, why?
  2. Have there been any additions or discontinuations to the list of medications my loved one is taking?
  3. Has my loved one seen any doctors since our last meeting? If so, what was discussed? What was the diagnosis and treatment?
  4. Has my loved one been eating and drinking normally? Has he or she lost weight? If so, what dietary changes can be made?
  5. Have there been any changes to my loved one’s hearing or vision?
  6. Have any bedsores developed? Is my loved one being turned often? Is he or she frequently checked for pressure ulcers?
  7. Has any progress been made regarding set goals? What steps can be taken to further achieve unmet goals?
  8. Does my loved one need new clothes or other personal items?
  9. Has there been any staff turnover or changes?
  10. Has my loved one remained active? Are there additional activities that could be added to his or her schedule throughout the week?

The questions you develop before attending a care plan meeting should be tailored to your particular concerns. Moreover, it is good to come prepared with specific issues that can be addressed.

Tips For Attending Care Plan Meetings

In addition to attending the care plan meeting, we recommend taking thorough notes so you can remember what was discussed later down the road. Furthermore, notes allow you to follow up on problems or concerns that arose during the meeting.

If you are unable to attend, we advise rescheduling or sending another family member on your behalf. While you may always reach out to your loved one’s nursing home with questions and concerns, care plan meetings are designated times with multiple medical professionals in one room to update your loved one’s care plan, address problems and answer questions.

While care plans are in place to help promote the highest quality of care for all nursing home and long-term care residents, frequently, patients are still neglected and receive substandard care. Oftentimes, understaffed facilities are unable to meet the needs of every resident, and the patients suffer as a result.

Skilled Attorneys Can Help

While care plan meetings are useful tools, they unfortunately cannot keep abuse or neglect away. If you or a loved one has been injured, abused or neglected in a long-term care facility, we encourage you to seek help.

At Jehl Law Group, we have witnessed the devastating results of failed care plans and have had the opportunity to help suffering residents seek justice. Our attorneys have years of experience advocating for long-term care residents and reclaiming funds for them. We would be glad to do the same for you, too. Don’t wait to get help. Call us today at (901) 322-4232 for a free, confidential consultation.