Upon making the decision to move into a senior living community, one of the first items they will request is to schedule a Care Conference. A Care Conference or Care Plan meeting often includes the resident, family, advocate, doctor, nurse, pharmacist, dietitian, therapist, activity coordinator, or social worker. It can bring stress and worry for the new resident because they are the subject of the meeting. A meeting like this will occur right after move-in and at regular intervals depending upon what level of care the resident requires. For instance, in Assisted Living, a Care Conference would be scheduled once per year or as needed if there is a change in health status.
Last week, I attended a Care Conference with a resident. Her level of anxiety decreased knowing that I would be attending with her. It is helpful to have another person listening and advocating for you during these meetings. She and I had a “pre-meeting” to go over the agenda to ensure that she would have a positive experience and receive the highest quality of care at the new community.
I reminded her that the purpose of the meeting was to share her thoughts, ask questions, and align on goals. I assured her that I would take notes and we would debrief afterwards. She initially felt intimidated when we walked into the private dining room as all eyes were on her. Yet once the team members introduced themselves and discussed how they could help her to become more independent while she was rehabbing at their community, she felt more at ease.
It can be overwhelming to have multiple healthcare staff members talking to you about private matters such as your health; yet having an advocate with you is beneficial and I am glad I was present for this meeting. At the conclusion of the Care Conference, we went back to her room, reviewed the notes, and discussed our feelings about the meeting. We highlighted the 3 goals from the meeting for her to work on during her time in rehab so that she could make best use of her time healing.
If you are in need of advice for senior care or senior living communities, contact SilverBridge Senior Advisors for a free consultation.
This post was written by Julie Ryan. Julie is a Senior Advisor at SilverBridge Senior Advisors. She has decades of experience as an advocate and professional in senior care.