How to write an Activity-Based Care Plan

How to write an Activity-Based Care Plan

Found In: Activities Care Plans Articles

This article provides a guide to creating Activity-Based Care Plans for residents in long-term care.
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This article provides a guide to creating Activity-Based Care Plans for residents in long-term care.

What is a Care Plan?

A Care Plan is a document where the specific care requirements of an individual are recorded with the intention of improving and/or maintaining their well-being. It is a document that assesses what care an individual needs and how this care will be provided.

Activity-Based Care Plans are created by Activity Professionals to address the social, emotional, and spiritual well-being of residents. They should:

  • Provide interventions to maintain social activity and address spiritual needs.
  • Include when, how often, where, and how long interventions are to take place.
  • Refer to other allied therapies (Music therapy, Aromatherapy, Physiotherapy etc).
  • Include easily understood instructions for staff to deal with specific needs (transferring, wheelchair, meals assistance, diabetes, walkers).

Benefits of Activity-Based Care Plans

Activity-Based Care Plans reflect the wishes of residents regarding leisure and lifestyle choices to improve their quality of life.

Benefits of Activity-Based Care Plans include:

  • Enabling you to devise monthly activity programs that cater to all tastes.
  • Promoting the continuation of hobbies and activities of preference.
  • Ensuring consideration of cultural background and ethnic preferences.

How do you Write an Activity-Based Care Plan?

Start with a thorough assessment of the resident. You want to understand who they are and where they come from; their history, preferences, abilities and needs.. This will involve speaking to the resident, their family members and other staff and health care providers.

Here are some resources to help you gather this information:

Once the assessment is complete, consult with the resident, family representative and other allied health professionals (physiotherapist, music therapist, etc) to define goals and interventions. It is essential to consider cultural and religious differences, and provide support for the emotional and physical needs of residents.

Ensure you consult with family members and other staff on the resident's ability to participate in activities. By revealing barriers, plans can be made to encourage and empower residents e.g. one on one support, escorting to and fro, and assistance with activities.

The findings of the assessment combined with the resulting goals and interventions form the basis for the Activity-Based Care Plan. See the sample care plan provided with this article.

What are Goals & Interventions?

Activity-Based Care Plans should define goals and directives to bring about those goals - known as interventions. Interventions should focus on the strengths of the individual and not on the weaknesses. They must be person-centred and holistic.

Goals and interventions should be written in a way that everyone understands. Care Plans are used as educational references for new staff, family members and other care providers.

Goals - statements that expresses what one wishes to accomplish, they should be realistic and achievable. For instance if the assessment of John showed that he is in danger of social isolation or John self-declared himself as lonely, one of the goals could be to match John with some like-minded people to play cards together and form a friendship. The goal could be:

John will have the opportunity to create and maintain friendships.

Interventions - strategies to improve the quality of life of the resident. In John's case, an intervention to address the goal above could be formed by considering:
What modality? Small groups
To do what? Play cards
Location? Recreation room
When? Afternoons for 45 minutes, 3 times a week
How long? Trial of three months

So, the intervention could read:

John will be escorted to the recreation room in the afternoons to join a small group of people to play cards for 45 minutes over an initial 3 month poeriod (3 x weekly - Mon - Wed - Fri).

Some more examples of activity-based care plan interventions can be found in this article:
9 Examples Of Activity-Based Care Plan Interventions

Review Regularly

Care Plans should be reviewed and evaluated at regular intervals (some facilities do this bi-monthly and others quarterly). They should also be revisited if a resident or family representative requests it.

Note: These instructions are by no means the only way of creating an Activity-Based Care Plan. This is just one way and it is based on my own experience. I was in charge of developing Care Plans for many years and during that time we were audited by the Health Department several times, and our Care Plans were often scrutinized without criticism.

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Comments   Post a Comment

Jeanne 21st Oct 2022 Activities Director
I am an activity director at a SNL. I would like to know how to write a care plan for a resident who is going to be volunteering in our administration offices.
Maritza Jimenez 17th Oct 2022
Hello I'm very new to the activity director community and would like to understand a little more about how to complete a care plan
gladyz 25th Sep 2018 Recreational Activities
Hi thanks for your help, I would like if you can help me how to write about sensory, sensitive,cognitive and some examples please. Thanks gladyz
Talita 30th Sep 2018
Hi Gladyz,

There are a few care plan samples available here:

Hopefully this helps!
Norma Jean 20th Aug 2018 Activities Director
It's been many years since Ive worked in this field. This website has been my weekly go to for activities and calendar planning. I'm about to try the reports part of the site. I'm thrilled so far and appreciate all of you who share.
Talita 26th Aug 2018
Thank you so much for your feedback Norma Jean, we appreciate it so much!
Ngoc 11th Jan 2018 lifestyle student
I am so happy to come back with Golden carers , my job will be struggling without you
I feel like blessing to get to know this wonderful website
Thank you very much Golden carers,
Hope you all have a wonderful and successful new year.
Talita 14th Jan 2018
Thank you so much Ngoc, wishing a wonderful year too! All the best!
dorothy 28th Jul 2016 diversional therapist
don't forget the emotional , Cultural and spiritual care plan
Marija 9th May 2014 Recreation Therapist
Us beginners in our work, paperwork is the most difficult part of the job. Your advice and example helps a lot. Thanks a lot!!
Michelle 19th Feb 2014 Recreation Activities Officer
Agree with Maryann, remember the care plan and program must include choices to allow person centred care. Not what the Lifestyle/Activities Team are good at doing or enjoy.
MARYANN 18th Feb 2014 Diversional Therapist/Lifestyle Manager
As a Qualified D.T. can l say congratulation the information you are providing is fantastic - just a reminder to all - LOOK OUTSIDE THE SQUARE but always remember the PERSON - CENTRE PRESON CARE. (Ask the person)
We sometimes forget Community Social Interaction in our programs
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