Preparing for a Care Planning or Family Meeting post stroke

By June Shannon Stroke News   |   23rd Aug 2019

Our information nurse Bernadette Bergin explains what a Care Planning or Family Meeting is, and says they are a useful opportunity to ask any questions you may have about your care post stroke.

During their stay in hospital most stroke patients should be invited to a Care Planning or Family Meeting.

A Care Planning or Family Meeting is a meeting organized to plan for a patient’s future care. It helps to plan what is going to happen while a patient is in hospital and looks towards planning for their discharge back to the community; be that at home or in a rehabilitation or care facility.

At the meeting you and a member of your family, such as your partner, will have an opportunity to ask any relevant questions of the multi-disciplinary team (MDT) who are involved in your care.

An MDT is made up of all the healthcare providers involved in your care. These can include, doctors, nurses, therapists (occupational, speech and language and physiotherapists), social workers and sometimes other professionals from the community such as a liaison person with your local heath office. However, it is important to remember that the most important person at the meeting is the patient.

Where possible, the ward staff will tell you who will be attending the meeting, and give you notice so you and a family member can prepare any questions you may have in advance. A Care Planning or Family Meeting usually lasts between 30 minutes and an hour.

It is important to remember that the most important person at the meeting is the patient.

Berndaette Bergin, Information Nurse , Irish Heart Foundation

A Care Planning meeting is a great opportunity to meet with the team of people involved in your care and to get answers to any questions you may have.

Be prepared. Discuss and make a note in advance of any questions you may have to ensure your time at the meeting is used well. It is a good idea to prioritise your questions, as there may not be time in one meeting to answer them all.

Some questions you may have

Have any issues arisen that are causing you concern?
What plans are being made for your discharge, and what resources are available after you leave the hospital?
Will you be going home or to another facility?
Will rehabilitation therapies continue?
If going home, how will I cope?
Will our home need to be adapted to meet my needs, how does that happen and how will we pay for it?
If I have to go into a care or nursing home how will we pay for it?
Will I need aids for daily living like a wheelchair or other aids? How do we get them?
Will I be able to go back to work?
Will I be able to drive?
Have you any concerns about your emotional well-being?

When the time comes for you to leave the hospital, a formal document which will include a summary of medical information about your treatment and details of any ongoing services that have been arranged for you will be prepared. You should be given a copy of this plan and a copy will be sent to your GP.

If you are discharged home and you feel you are not doing well, you can contact your GP or public health nurse for advice.

For anyone who hasn’t been invited to attend a Care planning or family meeting, please discuss with the ward staff or contact the medical social worker in the hospital.

The Irish Heart Foundation runs a number of stroke support groups for more information on these groups please see here.

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care planning discharge family meeting rehabilitaiton stroke stroke rehabilitation

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