July 12, 2016
Life Care Planning
Life Care Planning is a new approach to the challenges created by long life and disability.
Law firms that practice this unique, elder-centered specialty of elder law are called Life Care Planning Law Firms. As a Life Care Planning Law Firm, The Elder Care Firm features an interdisciplinary team that works together to identify present and potential future care needs, locate appropriate care, and ensure high-quality care.
What is a Life Care Plan?
A Life Care Plan defines, organizes, prioritizes and mobilizes every aspect of an elder’s care. In addition to traditional asset-focused elder law services that help elders qualify for public benefits while preserving family wealth to the greatest extent possible, a Life Care Plan typically includes provisions for care coordination and other forms of family support.
The goal of Life Care Planning is to promote and maintain the health, safety, well-being and quality of life of elders. Every Life Care Plan is designed to achieve three primary objectives:
- Make sure the elder gets appropriate care, whether at home or in a residential facility, to maintain the quality of life that he or she desires
- Locate public and private sources to help pay for long-term care while resolving issues created by the high cost of care
- Offer peace of mind that results when the right choices are made to ensure loved ones are safe and getting the right care while preserving family resources
The attorneys at The Elder Care Firm use a model called the Elder Care Continuum to help families understand the natural progression of aging and its impact on a loved one’s health, mobility, housing and financial resources. An initial meeting with The Elder Care Firm may focus on the elderly loved one’s place on each line of the Elder Care Continuum. Gaps in care can then be identified and solutions discussed for closing those gaps.
What Services Does a Life Care Plan Include?
Each Life Care Plan is customized to meet the needs of the individual and family involved. Most Life Care Plans will include one or more of the following services.
The legal issues created by aging, illness, chronic conditions or disability can be terrifying. That’s why every Life Care Plan includes a customized mix of legal services designed to protect the loved one’s interests and to provide for dependents and other family members now and in the future. Your Life Care Plan will include elder law, estate planning and advocacy services that are appropriate for your loved one’s circumstances. You and your family can relax knowing that you are surrounded with legal support from experts who are familiar with every aspect of your situation.
Many families who need help protecting an elderly loved one’s assets also need help finding and coordinating care. They need help with decision-making as the elder’s condition progresses. That’s why care coordination services are part of nearly every Life Care Plan we develop.
Elders have a legal right to safe, effective and patient-centered health care and long-term care. A Life Care Plan protects those rights. Our Certified Elder Law Attorney and elder care coordinators work together to provide advocacy services that empower family caregivers and protect quality of life for elders.
When is the Right Time to Create a Life Care Plan?
The right time is immediately after any event that leaves you concerned about your loved one’s future. Trigger events like the ones listed below signal that a person’s condition is deteriorating even though it could be months or years before long-term care outside the home is needed.
- A diagnosis of cancer, Alzheimer’s disease or other chronic condition
- A catastrophic event such as a fall, medication mishap, fire, accident in the home or a car wreck
- Discovering that your loved one is wandering, malnourished, dehydrated or unable to care for him/herself due to functional limitations
- A medical event such as a stroke, heart attack or aneurism
- Burnout of the loved one’s primary caregiver
You could wait until the elder needs immediate nursing home care to develop a Life Care Plan. However, the delay puts you, your family and your loved one at a distinct disadvantage. That’s why pre-crisis Life Care Planning is so valuable. A Pre-Crisis Life Care Plan benefits you and your family in several important ways:
- It helps get your loved one the care he or she needs today, which offers welcome relief for caregivers.
- It plugs you into our network of community services and resources.
- It increases the chances that your loved one can age at home, which helps preserve independence and dignity.
- It puts all your legal and financial affairs in order.
- It enables your family to avoid the asset protection crisis when your loved one makes the transition to long-term care outside the home.
- It empowers you with a network of support that will help you deal with every legal, health care and long-term care transition that your elder will face for the rest of his or her life.
Contact us to learn more how a Pre-Crisis Life Plan can benefit you and your loved one.
Who is a good candidate for a Life Care Plan?
A Life Care Plan is appropriate for:
- Elderly individuals who are dealing with the effects of aging, chronic illnesses like Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, stroke or dementia, or disability due to accident or illness
- Cognitively, emotionally or developmentally disabled individuals of any age
- Individuals of any age who have been permanently disabled due to accident or illness
What are the benefits?
- The elderly or disabled loved one gets the right care sooner, as much independence as possible for as long as possible and the ability to age with dignity.
- Families get help finding the right care and services, guidance with legal, health care and long-term care decisions as the elder’s condition progresses, and security because the spouse and dependents are provided for.
- Whether you live across the street or across the country, a Life Care Plan offers welcome reassurance that your loved one will enjoy the best possible quality of life until the end of life.
How Do We Get Started?
To learn more, join us for one of our FREE LifeCare Planning Workshops. Our estate planning experts will have upcoming workshops in Ann Arbor, Bloomfield Hills, Brighton, Dearborn, Lansing, Livonia, Novi, and Trenton. We promise that time will fly, you’ll learn a lot, and have a little bit of fun. To sign up for a LifeCare Planning Workshop click here.
Or you can schedule a one-on-one consultation with one of our Elder Law Attorneys. However, this consultation has a cost of $450.