What is Life Care Planning?
Life Care Planning is an innovative approach to comprehensively address health, legal, and financial issues for Seniors. This approach differs from traditional Elder Law focuses because Elder Law typically manages the legal and financial affairs of Seniors. In other words, Elder Law often has an asset centered approach to planning such as Medicaid planning to qualify for assistance with paying for long-term care. Meanwhile, Life Care Planning combines the traditional Elder Law elements such as protecting a Senior's assets while qualifying for long-term care assistance with the health care challenges that face our Seniors.
For example, Life Care Planning will answer the following common questions for Seniors and their families:
- What does my diagnosis mean and what will the future be like due to this condition?
- Are there any types of specific treatments that should be considered for my condition?
- What changes in my condition and circumstances can I expect?
- What will happen if my condition or circumstances suddenly changes?
- How do I know which home health care company to hire to assist me?
- How do I place a loved one in a long-term care facility?
- How do I know if my loved one needs to reside in assisted living vs. a nursing home?
- How do I treat symptoms of depression or other mood behavior changes?
- How do I make sure my loved one's pain is being best managed?
- What public benefits exist that will help pay for needed care?
- How do I prepare and execute a personalized Care Plan for my loved one?
- How do I understand what is going on in Care Conferences at the nursing home?
- How will I know what the real story is regarding my loved one's condition and status?
- How will I know about the various community programs that are available to help my loved one?
These are just some of the questions that will be answered through a Life Care Planning representation that involves a Geriatric Care Manager or other Care Coordinator. In future blog entries, we will detail more about what Life Care Planning is, how it can benefit you and your family, and why you should explore hiring an experienced Life Care Planning attorney to help you and your family overcome the obstacles that "getting older" can sometimes (and will most likely) bring.
Jason A. Penrod is only the 20th attorney to be Board Certified as an Elder Law Expert by the Florida Bar and the National Elder Law Foundation. He is the founder of Family Elder Law (www.familyelderlaw.com) which has offices in Lakeland, Lake Wales, and Sebring, Florida.