What Is A Nursing Home Care Plan? And Why Are Care Plans Important?

When your loved one enters a nursing home or adult care facility in North Carolina, it is important that you understand what a nursing home care plan (or “plan of care”) is and that you help the facility draw up a care plan that will work best for your family member.

A nursing home care plan is put in place to protect the health and wellbeing of your loved one. The care plan outlines the resident’s medical history, noting his or her medications, disabilities, and any forms of dementia. Written up by medical staff, nursing home staff, and a registered nurse, the care plan should outline all important aspects of the patient’s health and all important aspects of their treatment while at the facility.

Unfortunately, especially at understaffed or substandard North Carolina nursing homes, care plans are not followed, read closely, or ignored altogether. In a recent case that took place at Britthaven nursing home in Chapel Hill, a 95-year-old woman, Mary Lou Barthazon, broke both of her fibula bones in a fall when a staff member attempted to move her from a wheelchair to a bed without the assistance of a mechanical lift. The nurse not only ignored the stipulations of the woman’s care plan, she also failed to report the incident. Barthazon died four days after her serious injuries were discovered.

Ignoring a patient’s care plan in a nursing home is negligent and unlawful. Not following a care plan can lead to serious medical issues, medication errors, serious injuries, infections, and even death. If you believe that your loved one was harmed because a nursing home staff member did not follow a care plan, you should speak to a North Carolina nursing home neglect lawyer as soon as possible.