While nursing homes may offer some services universally to residents relating to their basic needs, each of these residents has his or her own eccentricities and idiosyncracies. Therefore, no one set treatment program or routine is going to be successful for all parties.
Besides, not only is providing care to people with an omnibus regimen medically unsound, but it is decidedly illegal at that. State and federal health services are supremely invested in the welfare of the nation’s older adult population, and accordingly, demand that skilled nursing facilities get to know their customers in terms of their physical and mental health and everything in between.
As far as nursing staffs are concerned, in practical terms, this involves creation of detailed nursing care plans, also known as care plans for short. The following are some specifics regarding nursing care plans:
As with the formation of any plans, the creation of care plans requires serious forethought lest their implementation goes for naught, working to the actual detriment of the residents for whom they are designed. With this in mind, the first step of the process should be a thorough assessment of the patient in question.
This profile should represent the sum of the attributes with which the staff’s professionals should be most concerned, among them mobility, need for rehabilitation and outward appearance.
Of course, when possible, residents should be allowed to speak on their own behalf and provide information as they can. However, depending one’s mental state or inability to speak as an aftereffect of stroke, consulting directly with the individual may yield staff members dubious facts, or may be downright impossible. Thus, in conducting assessments prior to forming nursing care plans, nurses should be vigilant for areas of concern that otherwise will go unspoken.
In particular, one of these worries that may constitute a major thrust of many care plans is the need for good nutrition and diet management. Though it may not seem like a grave issue at first, the disruption of one’s normal dietary habits may have its cumulative effects. Consistent refusal to eat or supplanting healthier meals with snacks of little nutritional value can be dangerous in a number of ways.
If the resident errs on the side of over consumption, complications can arise in the form of weight gain that can put undue stress on the body and diabetic symptoms. Conversely, too little food and liquid can lead to malnutrition and dehydration. As weight and bodily conditions may fluctuate rather easily in human beings, nursing care plans may need to be revisited often to reflect the most up-to-date status of residents.
Obviously, care plans should be designed as safeguards for residents, especially when they are physically unable to be self-sufficient in their movements and/or mentally unaware enough that they do not understand the risks behind their behavior.
For example, if a resident consistently attempts to get up and walk home with the belief that she has to get home and help her mother set the dinner table, she may need to be confined to a wheelchair with restraints or some other preventive apparatus.
Certainly, though, this is an extreme case. When not warranted, nursing care plans may not restrict the willful, autonomous actions of residents, even if safety is a concern. Imaginably, these issues must be addressed on a case-by-case basis, but even in the twilight of one’s life, the American concept of freedom is yet an unalienable right.