Life Care Planning
Life Care Planning is a holistic approach to the practice of Elder Law that helps seniors and their families prepare for challenges that may arise from aging, illness and/or disability. Not only are seniors and their loved ones faced with the concerns of their current needs, but they have to face the overwhelming preparation and planning for potential future crises. A Life Care Plan is designed to address these immediate and future concerns. Traditionally, elder law firms focus on specific, time limited transactions such as the execution of documents and the protection of assets. In contrast, Life Care Planning is a long term relationship between our firm and our clients consisting of continued guidance, advocacy and support as changes occur in health, finances and lifestyle.
How Does Life Care Planning Work?
The main focus of Life Care Planning is to promote and maintain quality of life for seniors. The first step is a comprehensive assessment by our Elder Care Coordinator, Lori Kayne, who is a licensed Geriatric Social Worker with expertise in care related issues. Once this is complete, then our attorneys perform a complete financial and legal assessment resulting in a customized plan that provides a road map to help the seniors and their family plan for current and future needs. Other specialists who may be involved in the process include Public Benefit Specialists, Financial Planners, Accountants and Insurance Specialists.
The Benefits of a Life Care Plan:
- An individualized plan that addresses your current and future needs and a support team that remains available to assist you.
- For the client, a Life Care Plan can mean preservation of independence, the ability to age with dignity, finding the right care sooner and the security of knowing that you have an advocate dedicated to helping you maximize your quality of life.
- For the family, a Life Care Plan provides assistance with the burdens of caregiving, relief from anxiety about paying for care, guidance with legal, healthcare and long-term care decisions and the peace of mind that you have a place to turn for help.
Ten signs that families need help
- The primary caregiver is suffering from burnout, health problems, frustration, guilt or confusion.
- Seniors and families are confused and overwhelmed with care options, what to do next or where to get help.
- The senior was recently diagnosed with a chronic, debilitating illness such as Dementia or Parkinson’s disease or has had a major medical problem such as a heart attack or stroke.
- The senior is ill or disabled with no children who are able to provide assistance.
- The senior has experienced a fall or other accident and there are concerns about safety or ability to provide self-care at home.
- There have been cognitive changes noted in the senior and there are no existing legal documents such as a power of attorney or the ones that exist are more than 5 years old.
- One of the senior spouses has significantly different care needs than the other.
- The senior is expressing concern about paying for needed care now or in the future.
- The senior is hospitalized and the family has been told that returning home is not an option.
- There are differing opinions between the seniors and their children as to the best care option.