Many elderly adults need regular care or help from others. While many seniors utilize caregiving services, care plans are not necessarily the same for every senior. In order to be most effective, caregiving should be personalized for each care patient’s unique needs. This is why it is important to develop customized care plans for anyone receiving care.

If you have a loved one who receives elderly home care, you can be a part of developing their customized care plan. Keep reading for more details on how to create a care plan that suits your loved one’s unique needs.

Determine the Level and Frequency of Care

The first step to customizing a care plan is to determine the level and frequency of care a patient will need. This might vary depending on a patient’s current capabilities and needs. If your loved one is rather independent and only needs help with specific activities, they might need caregiving services less frequently. Conversely, if your loved one is highly dependent on others for help, they will likely need a higher level of care.

Speaking with caregiving experts can help you determine the degree of care your loved one needs. You can also speak with their primary doctor and see what evaluations they have about your loved one’s care needs. 

Keep in mind that the level and frequency of care a patient needs might increase over time. It is important to reevaluate your loved one’s care needs on a regular basis and make any necessary adjustments to their care plans if their needs increase. 

Determine the Services Needed

Every patient has different needs when it comes to daily caregiving services. You can help your loved one get the exact assistance they need by determining the specific caregiving services they should opt for. 

Caregiving is extremely comprehensive and caregivers can complete a wide variety of tasks for their patients. Some examples of common caregiving services include:

  • Household chores (cooking, cleaning, laundry, etc.)
  • Errands, grocery shopping
  • Transportation to medical appointments and other necessary appointments
  • Hygiene and bathing
  • Help getting dressed
  • Assistance getting in and out of bed
  • Mobility assistance (walking up and down the stairs, standing up, etc.)

Making a note of the services that could be particularly helpful to your loved one can better customize their care plan. For example, maybe your loved one has especial difficulty with bathing. At the same time, although your loved one still needs a little help around the house, they still enjoy cooking meals for themself. Talking about these details with a caregiver can help customize the services they provide. Building in regular routines such as bathing and hygiene into a care plan will ensure that your loved one’s needs are being met. 

Coordinate Caregiver Shifts

Care agencies will typically organize shifts for their caregivers. However, this might take some communication from the patient’s end, especially if a patient is receiving care within their home. Making sure that caregiver shifts are well coordinated can help the caregiver shifts run more smoothly and provide more attentive care for the patient.

If your loved one receives part-time care from any friends or family members, this is also an important thing to bring up with any hired caregivers. Differentiate between when your loved one will receive care from a family caregiver versus when they will receive professional caregiving services. This will ensure that your loved one is always able to receive care when they need it. 

Factor in Transportation

When developing a customized care plan, it is important to consider your loved one’s transportation needs. Many elderly individuals can no longer drive, which can often make transportation limiting. Talk to your loved one’s caregiving agency about what transportation services they provide for their clients.

Transportation plans for care patients can vary. Some examples of transportation services provided by caregivers include:

  • Van or bus transportation provided by the caregiving agency
  • Caregivers personally drive their patient in a vehicle provided by the patient
  • Caregivers provide their own vehicle and drive their patient
  • Patients opt for public transportation or rideshare services

Whatever options work best for your loved one, transportation is a crucial factor in caregiving plans that is often overlooked. Access to transportation is liberating, and ensures that patients can travel to important appointments and events when needed. 

Building a Good Caregiver/Patient Relationship

The relationship between a caregiver and a patient is a huge aspect of a customized care plan. A good caregiver/patient relationship can make the caregiving experience far more enjoyable for both parties. When a patient connects with their caregiver, it can also bolster their emotional wellbeing and mental health. 

It is helpful for caregivers to get to know their patients well. Some care agencies might facilitate this process by providing questionnaires about a patient’s personality, interests, and hobbies. Knowing these details can help caregivers and patients connect with one another. Ultimately, a good caregiver/patient relationship can make for a much more fulfilling care experience. 

How Might COVID-19 Impact A Care Plan?

With the spread of COVID-19 remaining a concern in many communities, you might wonder how the virus will impact your loved one’s care plan. COVID-19 is particularly dangerous for seniors, and safety precautions towards the virus have daily impacts on caregiving operations.

Click here to learn more about how the pandemic might impact your loved one’s customized care plan.