Life Care Planning
We are living longer and healthier lives, with more options available for our care when illness or an unexpected fall happens or just frailty of age necessitates help. There is a maze of home care services, retirement homes, adult family homes, assisted living, specialized dementia care and skilled nursing facilities. A Life Care Plan drafted and managed by Byrski Estate and Elder Law will help you navigate by serving as your own personal roadmap to aging. Please continue reading to find out more about Life Care Planning and how it can benefit you and/or your loved ones.
What is Life Care Planning?
Life Care Planning is a relatively new specialty of Elder Law that helps people find and pay for quality care. Life Care Planning transcends the typical client/ attorney consultative relationship to a comprehensive team approach focused on client needs. The team consists of an Elder Law Attorney, Life Care Coordinator and legal assistants knowledgeable in the areas of estate planning, Veteran's and Medicaid benefits and available resources in your community.
The attorneys at Byrski Estate and Elder Law are uniquely qualified to assist clients in negotiating the complex system of estate and trust planning, qualification and application for Medicaid and Veteran's benefits, patient rights advocacy, review of assisted living and nursing home contracts, care management, care placement assistance, and hospital discharge planning assistance. Life care planning may also involve the review of long term care insurance, annuities and reverse mortgages or referral to financial planners who may sell such products to clients who require these services.
Caring for a loved one whose health is declining is difficult and confusing. A Life Care Plan can help you solve the long-term care puzzle and restore peace of mind.
What Does A Life Care Plan Include?
The Life Care Plan includes:
1. Specific quality recommendations for care needs, i.e, home health services, adult day care, homemaker, assisted living and nursing home services are just a few. These recommendations will be made by your Life Care Coordinator.
2. Concrete legal strategies to qualify for benefits to pay for care and protect assets. We will guide you step by step through the entire process from applying for public benefits (VA/Medicaid) to appropriately spending down your assets in order to meet various income criteria.
3. All legal documents necessary to ensure that the client wishes are met regarding healthcare, finances, and distribution of assets when the time comes. This might include wills, trusts, powers of attorney, advanced directives and other documents.
Who benefits from Life Care Planning?
◦Persons with an ill or disabled spouse,
◦Persons in the early stages of chronic illness,
◦Persons with disabled children or dependents, and
◦Family members (local or long distance) who need help caring for their disabled or elderly loved ones.
Life Care Planning services particularly benefit a senior with a health condition that has the potential to impact their ability to care for themselves. The goal is to maximize resources to provide the best care possible. Caregivers also benefit from the support offered by the Life Care Coordinator in finding and securing quality care and having a knowledgeable person to turn to when problems arise. Families have peace of mind knowing that professional, expert advice is a phone call away.
What happens during the Life Care Planning process?
When you meet us for the first time, the focus will be on locating your loved one's position on each domain line of the Elder Care Continuum, which is a model that helps families understand the natural progression of aging and its impact on a loved one’s health, mobility, housing, and financial resources. Once you know where you are in the process, we will help you identify gaps in care, and suggest options for how to mobilize resources and public benefits to close those gaps. The goal is to plan for the best care for your loved one, both now and in the future. When your loved one's Life Care Plan is developed, it will define, organize, prioritize and mobilize every aspect of his or her care.
Why should I choose a Life Care Plan over and above my basic estate plan?
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 a part of 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. The staff at Byrski Estate and Elder Law advocate for high quality care. We work on your behalf to resolve care issues, manage transitions to more appropriate care and stand up for you when you need it. 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.
The components of a Life Care Plan add up to peace of mind for elders and the families who love them. 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.
What Is A Life Care Coordinator?
Quality of care leads to quality of life. That's why our Life Care Planning Team includes an Elder Care Coordinator who oversees the coordination of your loved one's health and long-term care, serves as your advocate and empowers you with the knowledge you need to make the right decisions for your loved one in every circumstance. Whether your loved one is living at home, at an assisted living facility or in a nursing home, you can relax in the knowledge that his or her care is being coordinated by experts who have extensive knowledge about the costs, quality, and availability of resources in the community.
Your Life Care Coordinator assists with the development and implementation of your Life Care Plan including:
- An initial assessment in your home, residential or health care facility
- The development, implementation and monitoring of a Care Plan
- Assistance with living arrangements and placement
- Coordination of available community resources
- Coordination with family to provide support, guidance and advocacy