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Article Archive >> Senior Life

The Life Care Plan: The First Step to a Secure Future

The Life Care Plan: The First Step to a Secure Future

A Common Family Crisis
Consider the following situation:
Your husband has just been diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease. You are both still living in the same house you have shared for the last 40 years. You are struggling to maintain the house and care for your husband. Your daughter has a full-time job and is raising 2 children on her own, but she helps out as much as she can. Your son is married with 4 children and lives in another state. He is desperate to keep you both at home, but he is unable to offer any help in the day-to-day care.
* Should Dad stay at home?
* Who will care for him if he does?
* If Dad leaves the home, where should he go? What facility accepts patients with Alzheimer's?
* Do you have enough money to live in your home? How can you afford long-term care? Is public assistance available?
* Do you and your husband have a power of attorney and living will?
* What can you and your family do NOW to plan for the future and to ensure that you and your husband's quality-of -life will continue to be the best it can, throughout both your lives?
Unfortunately, this scenario is all too common and most families do not know where to start to help their loved one.

The Life Care Plan
The Life Care Plan is a roadmap for planning your long-term care, designed with your individual and family needs in mind. The Life Care Plan includes a strategy for managing your life utilizing all the necessary services and resources available in the local community. Based on a thorough understanding of your long-term health care goals and needs, the Life Care Plan provides recommendations for care regarding residency, personal lifestyle and more, consistent with these goals and needs. Like traditional Estate Plans, the Life Care Plan includes the legal protections and provisions you need to safeguard your assets, honor your wishes, and care for loved ones. However, a Life Care Plan provides a more comprehensive and caring approach because it incorporates both your legal protections and provisions and your health care goals and needs.

The Life Care Manager
The family crisis discussed above represents a difficult and frightening period in a family's life. Therefore, you need someone who is not only knowledgeable and experienced with dealing with such crisis situations, but is also compassionate and empathetic to your emotional needs. A Life Care Manager is employed to be your support line, your advocate, your confidant, and your friend.
In conjunction with an attorney, the Life Care Plan is developed by a Life Care Manager. Your Life Care Manager is knowledgeable about the many services and resources available to the elder community and will assist with the selection of home care services based on your needs, intervene when special care situations arise, offer assisted living and nursing home options, act as a liaison, and more.

The Ultimate Goal
The ultimate goal of the Life Care Plan is to ensure the best quality of life for you today and throughout the rest of your life. Your Life Care Plan should continue to evolve throughout your life to accommodate changes in your care situation.

The contributing author, David Wingate is an attorney in the Frederick and Hagerstown areas.
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The Life Care Plan: The First Step to a Secure Future

1560 Opossumtown Pike, Suite A-12 20 W. Washington Street, Suite 501
Frederick, MD 21702 Hagerstown, MD 21740
301-663-9230 301-790-0085
www.davidwingate.com

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