WHAT Is Life Care Planning?
Life Care Planning, also known as Advance Care Planning, is an elder-centered approach to practicing law. It the process of setting up a legal road-map to help families identify, organize, prioritize and respond to challenges caused by disabilities or chronic illness of a loved one. The core goal of Life Care Planning is to maintain the safety, well-being, good health and quality of life for elders and their families. And it also provides families with guidance and options for long term, quality health care.
The Life Care “Plan Early” concept
By starting early in the Life Care Planning process, you’ll be ahead of the curve when an emergency or life change occurs. It is much easier to have a plan in place and choices predetermined during a time of crisis than to rely on last minute crisis management. Planning early allows for you to not only focus on estate planning, asset preservation, and public benefits (Medicaid) qualification, but it also allows for us to educate you and your family. By planning early we can establish how you would like your care coordinated, health care decisions made, crisis intervention established, and support set-up. We use the Elder Care Continuum as a model to help families understand the basic Life Care Planning process.
As a firm we make it our first goal to identify present and future long-term care needs and to locate the financial resources you will need to help pay for these services. We also provide you with a support team to help you make important medical and financial decisions. Overall, Life Care Planning helps families respond to challenges presented by the chronic illness or disability of an elderly loved one.
As your life changes, so will your plan. Here are just a few examples of times in your life when you might consider revising your plan:
- Getting a divorce (needing a new primary health care agent)
- Learning about a new diagnosis or worsening health condition
- Losing your independence or experiencing declining health
- Losing a loved one – often seeing how a person suffered in the end may cause you to reevaluate your own end of life decision
- Losing your designated agent – if the person you chose to represent you passes, you will need to select a new person
- Every 10 years – a lot can change within a decade – you should keep your plan current
As you begin thinking about your Life Care Planning decisions, we encourage you to talk to your family and friends and let them know that you are going to start a Life Care Plan and you can include them in your decision process, if you like. And if you have an elderly or special need loved one, whose care you are concerned about, also feel free to contact us so that we can help you and your family member put a Life Care Plan in place.
If you are ready to discuss Life Care Planning Services or have additional questions, please feel free to contact us today!