What is an Individualized Service Plan and How Does It Help My Senior Loved One?

The senior care industry is full of jargon and abbreviations that most family members aren’t aware of until their loved one needs additional support. While senior care solutions vary greatly, one item is typically the same in every agency or community: the individualized service plan. What exactly is this document and why is it so important? We’re here to enlighten you as well as give you specifics so you know what to look for when determining if your loved one’s plan is as good as it should be.

What Is the Individualized Service Plan?

An Individualized Service Plan, or ISP, is sometimes referred to as a care plan. This document provides instructions and interventions to use when providing care for a client. Essentially, it is like a roadmap that tells everyone who will be serving the older adult – the nurses, caregivers, therapists, etc. – how to help the older adult to their specific wellness goals.

ISPs have a lot of information on them based on the person’s preferences, medical history, challenges, and goals. An ISP is flexible and changes as the person’s needs grow or decline. Typically, the plan is written by a designated person who has knowledge about the person’s history and goals. In most cases, a nurse will develop and oversee the plan.

Why Is an ISP Important?

An Individualized Service Plan is important for a few reasons. First, it improves the continuity of care that the person receives. With multiple professionals often serving the same client, it can make communication difficult. An ISP gives everyone the same information and helps them see how their specific care fits into the greater puzzle.

Next, an ISP is important because it sets the individual up for success in meeting their health and wellness goals. For example, if a client needs to learn how to better manage their high blood sugar, an ISP will detail interventions that can make that goal attainable. Perhaps a caregiver knows to encourage sugar-free options for dessert or a nurse knows to provide education on how the client can check their own blood-sugar levels.

Finally, an ISP is important because it encourages person-centered care. Person-centered care means that the client’s preferences, needs, and choices are put at the center of all services. After all, not all seniors are the same and they don’t all need the same care. A well-written ISP helps to ensure the individual’s interventions are not cookie-cutter and are instead tailored specifically to their needs and preferences.

What to Look for in a Home Care Individualized Service Plan

Home care agencies develop Individualized Service Plans for those they serve, and those plans help to keep caregivers who serve clients on the same page. Home care ISPs also include person-centered interventions that can include items like:

  • The preferred time the person likes to wake up in the morning
  • How to use certain phrases to encourage the person to do their prescribed range of motion stretches before lunch
  • Details on how much assistance they need with specific tasks
  • Information about their food preferences
  • Phrases to use or activities to try when the person is feeling anxious in the evening

These person-centered pieces of information help caregivers enhance quality of life and encourage independence. Exceptional home care agencies also include details on the ISP that help caregivers navigate specific conditions, like dementia, Parkinson’s disease, or even post-stroke care.

At CaringGivers, we develop ISPs with the client at the center of every interaction. Our plans are accurate but flexible, changing as needed with the client. We’d love to develop a plan for your loved one as well; contact us to get started.

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