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How Do We Assess Your Care Needs?

How Do We Assess Your Care Needs?
Date published: 30 January 2024 Author: Zoe Armbrust Categories:
Last year, we discussed the topic of “Recognising the Signs: When is it Time to Consider Live-In Home Care for Your Loved One?”. If you’ve reached the decision that a family member or yourself would benefit from live-in care, you may be wondering what comes next. How does the process function, and how do we assess your care needs?
When you contact Promedica24 West Sussex, I’ll first set up an introduction meeting with  you. This is to provide information about how we can help, and to answer any outstanding questions about live-in care. We will then proceed to your bespoke care assessment. The prospect of this can be overwhelming, but there’s really no cause for concern. It helps to understand what to expect.
So what key factors are considered in the care assessment?
 Physical health considerations
Health conditions and medical history

We’ll speak to you about your medical history, ask about any chronic or long-term conditions that influence the level of care you’ll need, and how you are currently being treated or managed. This step is crucial because it gives us an initial overview of any regular medication, doctor’s appointments as well as ongoing symptoms we need to take into consideration. It also means we can work more effectively with your other health and social care providers. If you’re looking for respite care while you’re recovering after a hospital stay, this is especially important.

We’ll also enquire about dietary needs and potential risks related to nutrition and hydration, if you have any sensory impairments such as blindness or deafness, and how you’d like to be supported (if at all!).

Mobility and physical limitations

Mobility is a broad spectrum. A person using a wheelchair will need different support than someone who uses a walking stick, or someone who needs no mobility aid but has trouble climbing stairs. Mobility and physical limitations also inform the level of personal care you will need, though there are of course other factors at play. By assessing your mobility levels, we will make sure that you receive the right level of care, from a carer with the relevant experience.

Cognitive and mental health factors
Memory and cognitive abilities

We’ll ask you about any conditions that may impact your memory and cognition, such as dementia, and its effects on you. We may also discuss this with your Attorney or loved one where appropriate, so we’re aware of everything we need to know to put together the right care plan for you.

Mental health and well-being

Understanding your mental health and well-being is an important part of the care assessment. Similar to your physical health, we’ll ask you to share anything in your medical history that is relevant to the support you receive. For example, if your mental health gets worse in winter and you have specific ways to cope with that (such as taking your lunch in town more often, or going on holiday), we can incorporate that into our care plan. If you’re currently being seen by a mental health professional, letting us know allows us to work more closely with them.

Social and emotional factors
Social interaction

This is where we get to know you and your social life. We will be asking about you and your family, where you grew up or went to school, which family members you are close to, and anyone else that is important to you as a person.

We’ll also look at how much you would like your family to be involved with your care and support and your involvement in your local community.

Emotional support needs

Your emotional support needs are just as important as your physical needs. We will ask how you cope with difficult situations and how you would like to be supported. For example if you’d like to be given space or prefer company when your mood is low, if you’re a chatty person or not, if a certain type of music always cheers you up. We want to make sure the care we provide is truly person-centred,  if something is important to you, it’s important to us.

Your day-to-day living

We like to understand your routine, hobbies, interests, and your needs, preferences with regards to your home and environment, and how they may relate to your care and support. We will ask you about your ability to carry out daily tasks and how you would like to be supported, your evening and night-time support needs, and general routine.

When do you like to have dinner? Do you prefer to cook yourself with minimal support, or would you like your carer to prepare your meals under your supervision? If you have religious or spiritual beliefs, and  how do they feature in your daily life? Are you a late or an early riser, and do you like to watch TV before bed?

All those details will help your Care Team get to know you and build a care plan that fits into your daily life with minimal disruption, so you can continue to live life as you know it.

How do we at Promedica24 West Sussex create a Care Plan?

Based on the above as well as anything else that’s relevant, we will work with you to create a list of goals, or outcomes, that you would like to achieve with our support. These are not fixed or absolute, but act as a guideline for both you and your carer, so you can make the most of your care package.

Goals and outcomes are different for everybody: you may wish to start attending a weekly event at your local community centre, take up a sport or other activity, work towards living independently, or simply remain in your own home for as long as possible. We’ll review these goals regularly so you and your loved ones can keep an eye on your progress and how things are working out.

We will also carry out a comprehensive risk assessment where appropriate, and discuss how carer breaks should be covered and how carer absence should be managed.

Once everybody is happy with the assessment, our West Sussex Care Team will create your custom care plan and work with you to put it into action. The plan can be monitored and adjusted as needed so you continue to receive the right support even if your care needs change.

The team will also keep in regular touch with you and your loved ones to make sure you’re happy with the care you receive – and as your West Sussex Care Consultant, I’m always here to answer your questions.

I hope this overview makes the process of having your care needs assessed a little less daunting. While it doesn’t cover everything we ask, it should give you a good idea of what  to expect from us looking to create your perfect care package and help you and your loved ones prepare. If you’re unsure about any part of your care assessment, I or the Promedica24 West Sussex Care Team will be happy to help!
You can reach out to me seven days a week by emailing j.white-smith@promedica24.co.uk, or just call 07901 550860. As a former nurse, I’m trained to listen and take your questions seriously, and anything you share is confidential.

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