Understanding Life Care Planning
Caregiving and life care planning for a future that includes the long-term care of a relative is an important undertaking, often affecting the whole family’s time, energy, and resources. Navigating the spectrum of choices can feel daunting. Many caregivers agonize over care decisions and worry how they will finance long-term care. While the caregiver tries to regain balance and struggles to make the best choices, the elder or person with disability may not have all care needs met and may feel like a burden on others.
But it doesn’t have to be this way.
With our Life Care Planning approach, we lift burdens and give our clients the information and education they need to choose wisely among care options. We also ease fears about the financial consequences of long-term care. A Life Care Plan offers assurances and restores peace of mind for the whole family.
What is a Life Care Plan?
This is a new approach to helping elders, individuals with disabilities, and families tackle legal, financial, and health care problems by combining traditional legal services, like Estate Planning and Asset Protection Planning, with creative care planning services offered by a professional Care Coordinator. We assess the individual’s specialized needs and then give them and their families the guidance they need to secure the best long-term care available. That’s what Life Care Planning is all about: helping people find, get, and pay for long-term care.
How a Life Care Plan Works
Life Care Planning merges legal planning techniques with careful evaluation and monitoring of physical, psychological, and financial needs of the elder or person with disability and family. We work to customize a holistic plan that serves as a roadmap to help the family meet the inevitable challenges of caring for an aging family member. Our primary goal is to promote the long-term good health, safety, and well-being of the elder or person with disability. One of our Care Coordinators assesses functional ability, living situation, and costs of care in the community. The team evaluates resources available to pay for care and develops a plan for the family to find, get, and pay for care both now and in the future. With a Life Care Plan, we strive to find the services that will maximize independence while meeting all needs for support. The plan is an ongoing relationship between the elder or person with disability, his or her legal representatives, and our team which evolves to meet the individual’s changing circumstances as his or her condition progresses.
A Life Care Plan restores peace of mind for the whole family. Caregivers receive the guidance they need to make informed decisions about the long-term care of their loved one. When the elder or person with disability receives the right care sooner, he or she is able to remain independent longer, which increases quality of life while reducing the burden on caregivers. Furthermore, financial security is preserved. The whole family can breathe easy knowing that their team is coordinating the best long-term care available.
Duration of a Plan
Usually a Life Care Plan through Elder Law of East Tennessee covers an initial twelve month period. The relationship may be renewed each year for a reasonable fee. The Life Care Plan is designed to allow for flexibility as much or as often as the client’s needs dictate. If changes need to be made, a phone call to the Elder Care Coordinator is the simple first step to make adjustments, respond to a crisis, or secure additional support.
Each client’s situation is unique. The cost of Life Care Planning reflects the complexity of the work, whether the plan is for an individual or couple, the family dynamics, geographic location, and the staffing resources required to complete the work. Typically the plan is paid from the older adult’s resources, though sometimes family members contribute with the goal of helping their loved one receive the best care possible. Prices and payment options are discussed during the initial Life Care Plan consultation.
A Life Care Planning consultation at Elder Law of East Tennessee usually takes about two hours. It is important for us to take as much time as necessary to clearly understand all aspects of what the older adult or person with disability needs and wants, to explain the various planning options, and to fully review all legal, financial, and health care issues. We encourage all those who make care decisions for or with the person in need of care to attend. The older adult or person with disability is always welcome to attend if he or she is interested and able to participate in his or her care planning process. To accommodate family members who are unable to be physically present, we are happy to set up a conference call. The consultation fee is typically applied to the cost of the Life Care Plan.
At Elder Law of East Tennessee we can help in many ways. Contact us to ask questions or to schedule a consultation, and let’s get started today.
Don’t think you’re quite ready for our Life Care Plan? Please learn more about our comprehensive Estate Planning services and our Elder Care Protection Plan.