What you need to know today to protect the rights of your family member in a nursing home in Kingston, New York

How do you protect the rights of a family member residing in a nursing home?  The Care Plan Meeting is the best place to start?  The Care Plan Meeting is your opportunity to ensure that your family member's medical and non-medical needs are identified and addressed.

What is the Care Plan Meeting?

The Care Plan Meeting is a meeting of all of the persons in the nursing home responsible for caring for your loved one.  The resident and the resident's family members should attend the Care Plan Meeting.  The Care Plan Meeting is overseen by the MDS [Minimum Data Set] Coodinator who is responsible for writing and amending the Care Plan. 

The Care Plan Meeting should be used to address your concerns about the safety and well being of your family member.  For example, this is the best opportunity for you address your concerns about falls, restraints, skin breakdown, psychotropic medications and weight loss.  You should leave the Care Plan Meeting with a agreed upon strategy for addressing the needs of your family member.

How frequently are Care Plan Meetings held in a nursing home?

Within seven days of the initial assessment of a new resident, the nursing home's Care Plan Team must complete a Care Plan and schedule a Care Plan Meeting.  The Care Plan is a roadmap that provides goals and directives for achieving goals for residents of a nursing home. 

Residents and their family members should receive written notice of the date and time of the Care Plan Meeting.  If you are unable to attend, you can call the nursing home to reschedule the Care Plan Meeting.  If you have special concerns for the well-being of your loved one,  you may bring in an outside professional, i.e., a private nurse or social worker, to help you work out the best Care Plan.

A Care Plan Meeting should be held at least once every three months to discuss progress and changes to the Care Plan.

What should you do to prepare for the Care Plan Meeting?

A good Care Plan has objectives with timeframes, tasks assigned to specific staff members and methods of evaluation.  You should come prepared to the Care Plan Meeting with a list of questions, concerns and observations.

If you don't have a copy of the Care Plan, ask for a copy in advance of the Care Plan Meeting.  You should read the Care Plan carefully and insist that it is followed.  A good Care Plan should recognize the specific needs and concerns of your family member.

Why the Care Plan should be the "Bible" for caring for your loved one in a nursing home?

It's real simple: the Care Plan is the Bible for caring for your loved one in a nursing home.  You need to make sure that the Care Plan addresss the specific needs of your loved one and is amended at the quarterly Care Plan Meetings as the needs of your family member change. 

Make sure you attend the Care Plan Meetings and receive the original and amended versions of the Care Plan.  This is the best way to ensure that your family member is getting everything that he/she needs in a nursing home.

I welcome your phone call if you have questions

If you have questions, I welcome your phone call on my toll-free cell at 866-889-6882 or if you want additional information about nursing home rights, you can request my free book, The Seven Deadly Mistakes of Malpractice Victims, from the home page of my website, www.protectingpatientrights.com.