Lifecare planning aims to provide individuals—particularly those with chronic illnesses and or catastrophic injuries—with an actionable plan to address their future healthcare and financial needs. To start a lifecare plan, you must thoroughly understand the following:
- Your illness or ailment
- The kinds of medical treatment needed for your care
- The costs of such treatment and any related services
- The various factors that may affect your health
- Any other financial or health-related issues you may face
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), tens of billions of dollars are spent each year on treating the elderly for accident injuries. Moreover, the National Institute on Aging (NIA) states that lifecare planning is a very important part of the care regimens for those with chronic illnesses, such as Alzheimer’s. Read on to learn more about lifecare plans, why they are so important, and how to start a lifecare plan.
The Parts of a Lifecare Plan
Every lifecare plan is different and tailored to each individual. Still, the key components include the following:
- Assessments of injuries and medical diagnoses
- The projected long-term costs of any necessary treatments
- Factors that can impact health outcomes
- Any mental, emotional, or social factors affecting expected outcomes
- An assessment of resources available for treatment and care
- The individual’s eligibility for such resources
You will also want to consider the potential need for regular medical checkups, transportation to and from appointments or treatments, modifications to your home, and surgical interventions. A lifecare planning lawyer can collect this information during consultations with you, your family members, and the family doctor. An attorney will also review any available medical records, IRS filings such as tax returns, and consultations with treatment providers or subject matter experts.
Goals of a Lifecare Plan
Having an understanding of what you hope to achieve by starting a lifecare plan can help in drafting and formalizing a plan that satisfies your needs. The key goals that you should focus on when starting a lifecare plan include ensuring that:
- You receive the care you will need, whether that care is provisioned at home or a facility. This is the most critical of all lifecare planning goals, and it is the primary determinant of your quality of life in your later years.
- The right decisions are made regarding your special needs, using input from advisors and consultants with experience in eldercare, care planning, and needs assessments.
- You have access to the financial resources you need to secure adequate long-term care. You will want to plan for issues regarding asset protection, income, and taxes in advance.
Asking the Right Questions During Lifecare Planning
Asking the right questions is an important part of preparing a lifecare plan. By asking questions and knowing where to look for answers, you will be able to cover all relevant bases and prepare for eventualities that may otherwise go unnoticed.
Examples of questions you should ask and attempt to answer when drafting a lifecare plan include the following:
- What kinds of health care services do I have access to?
- Can I get the care I need at home?
- If not, what options do I have in terms of receiving care in an assisted-living facility or a nursing home?
- If I am unable to make important decisions myself—because of incapacitation, illness, or otherwise—what will happen? Whom can I choose or authorize for making decisions on my behalf?
- If I am unable to care for myself, how can I ensure the quality of life of my spouse or other loved ones?
- To whom do we turn if we have a health crisis or need help with issues we were unable to foresee?
- How will my care be assessed, and who can fight on my behalf to ensure I get the care, treatment, and services to which I am entitled?
Contact Bratton Estate & Elder Care Attorneys Today
Please contact the Bratton Estate & Elder Care Attorneys today at (856) 292-8157 for assistance with designing a lifecare plan. We can help you answer the questions above, and we can also help you understand what you need to know regarding:
- How to ensure your financial security as you get older.
- The various public benefits to which you may be entitled.
- How to apply to benefits.
- The kinds of insurance and medical coverage that may apply to your case.
- How to distribute assets and manage tax and probate issues.
Our team values compassion and advocacy, and we have social workers and a registered nurse on staff to help with your lifecare planning needs. We also have certified dementia practitioners on staff to assist with cases involving chronic mental illnesses, so please do not hesitate to reach out to us today.