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Elder Care Law – What is Life Care Planning? Part 1

April 15th, 2021

What is Life Care Planning all about? Well, I’m going to answer that question with a question and in fact many questions. I want you to consider whether you are dealing with any of these issues.

Are you or your family members struggling to meet the needs of an elderly loved one during a chronic illness or disability? Is the primary caregiver suffering from burnout, ill health, frustration, guilt or confusion? Are family members confused about care options, what to do next or where to get help? Was the elder recently diagnosed with cancer, Alzheimer’s disease or other chronic condition? Is the elder ill or disabled with children who live out of town? Has the elder experienced a catastrophic event such as a fall, medication mistake or an accident of some type? Have the family members discovered the elder wandering, malnourished, dehydrated or unable to provide self care? Has the elder suffered a medical event such as a stroke or heart attack? Are elders expressing worries about paying for long-term care in the future? Are children voicing concerns about a parent’s debilitating diagnosis? Is the elder hospitalized and the family has been told that returning home is not an option? If you see one of these signs of distress, your family may benefit from a Life Care Plan.

A Life Care Plan describes how our team will meet the elder’s medical, long-term care, legal and emotional needs during long-term illness or incapacity – until the end of life. The benefits to the family include freedom from the burdens of care-giving, relief from anxiety about paying for care, guidance with every legal, health care and long-term care decision for the rest of the elder’s life, confidence that comes from having a plan for ongoing care as the elder’s condition progresses, security because the spouse and dependents are provided for and peace of mind because the right to quality care is protected. The benefits to the elder include obtaining the right care sooner, preservation of independence for as long as possible, the ability to age with dignity, and the security of knowing that you have an advocate dedicated to maximizing quality of life.

The Life Care Plan places special emphasis on issues surrounding a long life. The Life Care Plan connects your concerns about long-term care as you go through the later stages of your life with the knowledge and expertise of an Elder Law Attorney and an Elder Care Coordinator who will be with you and your loved ones every step of the way to assist you in making the right choices.

There are three principal goals of the Life Care Plan that we will help you develop and implement:

First, helping you and your loved one obtain good care, whether your care is provided at home or outside the traditional home setting such as an assisted living facility, or if necessary, a nursing home. This is the most important of all goals, for it goes to the very heart of your quality of life in your later years. Your Life Care Plan is focused first on your good health, safety, and well-being.

Second, helping you make decisions relating to your health care, long-term care, and special needs. It is a comfort and a relief to our clients and their families to know that they always have a resource of experienced, knowledgeable, supportive, and objective advisors with them every step of the way.

Third, helping you find resources to pay for good care, and helping you spend your money wisely and prudently on your care needs. The Life Care Plan protects and preserves the assets you have accumulated during a lifetime of hard work, thrifty behavior, and astute investment decision making. We work with you through the maze of choices and options to find the best, or often, the most comfortable solution to the asset protection problem created by the need to pay for quality long-term care.

The Life Care Plan will help you answer your questions about your long-term care and health care choices.
o What health care, chronic care, and long-term care services are available to me? How can I get the good care I need and desire, whether I am in my own home, an assisted living facility, in a child’s home, or in a nursing home?
o How will financial and health care decisions be made for me if I cannot make them for myself? Who can I rely on to make sure that decisions to be made are the right ones?
o If I can’t take care of myself, who will make sure my spouse continues to have a good quality of life?
o If there is a health care crisis, what will we have to do? Where do we turn for the help we need?
o How do I know I am getting good care? Who will advocate and intervene for me if necessary to ensure my right to quality health care and long-term care?
o What public benefits am I entitled to and what do I have to do to qualify for them?
o Should I rely on Medicaid or other governmental benefits to help pay for my care? How do I apply for benefits?
o Do I have to spend all of my money on my care, whether in my home or in a nursing home? How can I protect my assets to take care of my spouse, to ensure that I receive quality care, or to leave to my children?
o How do I provide for family members with special needs?

Your Life Care Plan will be customized to fit your desires and needs. Your Life Care Plan can then provide you the roadmap to follow to achieve your goals. And, when changes occur, we stay with you every step of the way.

Michael D. Weinraub, Esq., CELA, is Certified as an Elder Law Attorney by the A.B.A. approved National Elder Law Foundation.

Michael D. Weinraub, P.C. is a holistic elder law practice that helps families plan for, pay for, and coordinate the long-term care of elderly loved ones. We work with senior citizens and their families who are overwhelmed or confused b