How to Prepare a Care Plan for the Elderly

by Jennifer Terry ; Updated October 25, 2017

Items you will need

  • Current assessments
  • List of resources

Preparing a care plan for an elderly person should encompass all facets of life. In the past, care plans were written to address only the deficits. For better quality of life results, caregivers now write universal care plans incorporating needed care into the adult's life. These care plans are intended to provide assistance in a person's natural environment. If the elderly person resides in a nursing home or care facility, the care plans address the need to provide home-like routines and suggest ways to provide healthy lifestyles that fits their beliefs and personal preferences.

Step 1

Review the patient's current assessments. A current assessment will be no older than one year unless there has been a significant change in the targeted person's ability or living situation. In these cases the assessment should be administered again to reflect current needs.

Step 2

Observe the person going about his daily routine. Determine if there are tasks hes avoid, such as picking up clutter, cooking a meal or bathing. Consider if these things are avoided due to the task being too difficult for him.

Step 3

Provide a questionnaire for the patient and/or the family to complete. The questionnaire should focus on the patient's daily living needs and lifestyle choices. Her interest and hobbies should be included. Ask if there are hobbies or interests she would pursue if she were not constrained by her current physical or mental condition.

Step 4

Consider the findings of your current assessment review, observations and family/patient questionnaire. Determine if there are assistive technology devices that can help the patient perform any deficits in daily living skills. Consider ways to help the patient become engaged in a hobby.

Step 5

Write short-term goals for your patient to work toward. The patient should have the ultimate vote as to whether he is interested in working toward the goal or not. Goals should be co-written by the patient. The goals should be written with the patient's strengths and needs in mind. For example, if the patient can walk with or without assistance he should be encouraged to walk rather than sit in a wheelchair simply to prevent a fall. The identified care needs should be administered in a way that preserves the dignity of the patient and promotes independence to the degree possible for the individual.

Step 6

Modify or remove any barriers that are found to be counterproductive to the patient's lifestyle choices and goals.


  • If you are writing a care plan for a patient in the nursing home never plan the same hobby for every person. Plan based on each individual's interest.


  • Always ask for a patient's opinion. Never assume the patient wants to do things your way.


About the Author

Jennifer Terry is program director for TriCounty Agency for Intellectual Disabilities. As a University of Alabama graduate, she holds a Masters in rehabilitation counseling and a Bachelor in psychology with an emphasis in child development. She also earned an Associate in business management and second Associate in computer information systems from Bevill State Community College. She holds a grant writing certificate from North Georgia College and State University.