What Are Care Conferences and Assessments?

Posted in assisted living facility / Home Care Regina

Coming into Dove House and Homecare, you will hear the words "Care Conference" and "Assessments" quite often.  Every person in a care facility has the right to good care, under the law.  The law says every facility must help the people "attain or maintain" their highest level of well being -- physically, mentally and emotionally.  To give good care, staff must access each client's care plan to support each client's life long patterns, and current interests, strengths and needs.  Client and family involvement in care planning gives staff information they need to make sure clients get good care.


What is a client assessment?

Assessments gather information about how well clients can take care of themselves and when they need help in 'functional abilities' -- how well they can walk, talk, eat, dress, bath, see, hear, communicate, understand and remember.  Staff also, ask about client's habits, activities, and relationships so they can help clients live more comfortably and feel more at home.  The assessment helps staff look for what is causing the problem.  For instance, poor balance, could be caused by medications, sitting too much, weak muscles, poor fitting shoes, a urinary infection etc.  Staff must know the cause in order to treat it properly.


What is a care plan?

A care plan is a strategy for how the staff will help a client.  It says what each staff person will do and when it will happen.  Care plans are reviewed regularly to make sure they work and must be revised as needed.  For care plans to work, clients must feel they meet their needs and must be comfortable with them.  Care plans can address any medical or non-medical issue.


What is a care conference?

A care conference is a meeting where management/staff, clients and families talk about life in the facility -- meals, activities, therapies, personal schedules, medical and nursing care and emotional, spiritual needs.  Families/clients can bring up problems, ask questions, or offer information to help staff provide care.  All staff who work with a client should be involved -- care partners, nurses, physicians, activity staff and therapists.


When are care conferences held?

Care conferences should occur every 6 months and whenever there is a big change in the clients physical or mental state.  SWADD assessments are done upon admission and every 2 years or as required.


What can be discussed at the meeting?

Talk about what you need, how you feel, ask questions about care and daily routine, about food, activities, interests, personal care, medications and management.  Management should talk to you about treatment decisions, medications, restraints, and do what has been agreed upon.


How do I participate in care planning?

Clients have the right to make choices about care, services, daily schedules, and life in the facility and to be involved in the care planning.  Participating is a way for issues to be addressed.


What should I say at a care conference?

Tell management how you feel, your concerns, any questions you may have and any goals for yourself.  Ask questions about your condition, care and treatments.  Discuss options for treatments and care planning.

Families should support your family members' agenda, choices and actively participate in the conference.  Even if your family member has dementia, involve them in care planning as much as possible.  Assess how the care plan is working and talk with staff for a follow-up.


What should a good care plan entail?

A good care plan should entail a specific, individualized and written in a way that everyone can understand it.  Reflect client's concerns and support the client's well-being, functioning and rights, not label a client's choices or needs as a problem behaviour.  Use a multi-disciplinary team approach, and use outside referrals as needed.  A care plan should be re-evaluated and revised as needed.

During your stay at Dove House or during your care through Dove Homecare, if you have any questions or concerns about your care, please speak to the staff.  Hopefully this clears up a few questions and gives you guidance on how we start things off here at Dove House & Homecare Services.