What Is a Life Care Plan
A Life Care Plan is a customized plan that coordinates every aspect of you and your loved one's chronic care. It combines legal representation, asset protection, care coordination, and advocacy.
For your Life Care Plan to be successful, there must be an understanding of your diagnoses, medical treatment, estimated costs of treatment and services, factors affecting care outcomes, psychosocial implications, and ongoing health care and long-term care needs. We are knowledgeable about community resources and eligibility for these resources. Furthermore, we are able to identify and develop alternatives for care consistent with patient/family needs. A Life Care Plan represents the integration of these issues into a plan to meet individual needs.
The Life Care Plan itself is actually a relationship and a planning process with us that changes over time as you and your circumstances change over time. Your Life Care Plan will provide the confidence that allows you to follow through to achieve optimal quality of life and care and long-term care financing goals.
There are three principal goals of the Life Care Plan that we help you develop and implement:
- We help make sure that you or your loved one gets good care, whether that care is at home or outside the traditional home setting. 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.
- We help you make decisions relating to your long-term care and special needs. We are your resource of experienced, supportive, knowledgeable, and objective advisors.
- We help you find sources to pay for good long-term care. 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.
Your Elder Care Advocate
An Elder Care Advocate is a professional, such as a social worker, counselor, nurse, or gerontologist who specializes in assisting older people and their families to attain the highest quality of life given their circumstances. An Elder Care Advocate will:
- Help clients and families identify care problems and assist in solving them.
- Assist families in identifying and arranging in-home help or other services.
- Coordinate with medical and health providers.
- Review medical issues and offer referrals to other geriatric specialists to provide appropriate care while conserving financial resources.
- Provide support, guidance, and advocacy during a crisis.
- Help with coordinating transfer and transportation of an older person to or from a retirement complex, assisted care living facility, or nursing home.
- Provide education.
- Offer counseling and support.
What Does This Mean to You?As a part of their Life Care Plan, an Elder Care Advocate is assigned to help our clients and their families with their long-term care concerns. At the Elder Law Practice of Zacharia Brown, your Elder Care Advocate functions as the point of contact for the family and assists in coordinating services to help you take care of your loved one. Your Elder Care Advocate has extensive knowledge about the costs, quality, and availability of resources in the community. As our families begin their journey through the long-term care system, it is helpful for them to have a supportive and knowledgeable advocate to accompany them along the way.
Top Long-Term and Health Care Questions
We will help you answer your questions about your long-term care and health care choices:
- 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 in my own home, in a residential community or assisted-living facility, in a child's home, or in a nursing home?
- 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?
- If I can't take care of myself, who will make sure my spouse continues to have a good quality of life?
- If there a health care crisis, what will we have to do?
- Where do we turn for the help we need?
- 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?
Other QuestionsA Life Care Plan helps you and your loved ones answer other pressing questions as well:
- How do I assure my financial security as I get older?
- What public benefits am I entitled to, and what do I have to do to qualify for them?
- Should I rely on Medicaid or other government benefits to help pay for my care? How do I apply for benefits?
- What kinds of insurance do I need? Should I buy long-term care insurance? Should I join a Medicare HMO?
- How and when should I distribute my assets? Can I save taxes and avoid probate?
- Do I have to spend all of my money on my care, whether in my home or in a residential care facility such as a nursing home? How can I protect my assets to take care of my spouse, to ensure I get good care, or to leave to my children?
- How do I provide for family members with special needs?
What You Can Expect from Us
The Life Care Plan is different from any other business dealing you may have had with another lawyer or other professional such as your doctor.
Most lawyers deal in “transactions.” That means you pay a fee to the lawyer for a transaction: for example, the lawyer closes a real estate contract for you and you pay him a fee for the service. That’s a transaction, and once the transaction is completed, the legal representation ends.
By contrast, your Life Care Plan with us is a “relationship.” Although we prepare legal documents for you, help you with accessing and advocating for good care, and represent you in making application for public benefits, those services form part of our relationship with you—but none of them in and of itself is the entire relationship.
Our goal is to determine your loved one’s location on our Aging Continuum, identify gaps in care, and suggest options for how to mobilize resources and public benefits to close those gaps and plan for the best care for your loved one, both now and in the future.