What is a Life Care Plan?
A life care plan provides a precise roadmap to help a person with disability due to chronic illness, injury or special needs master future opportunities and challenges. This includes navigating diagnostic, medical, rehabilitation, psychological, ambulatory, home or facility care, mobility, transportation, architectural modifications, aids for independent living, vocational, educational, social, leisure and recreational services.
Life care plans are used in a variety of situations, including:
- Helping to define economic damages in a lawsuit. This may include a complete life care plan at the request of plaintiff or defense counsel, or review / rebuttal of an existing life care plan.
- In divorce or other family law matters when a person who experiences disability is involved.
- To help determine insurance reserves in catastrophic or high need cases.
- To help establish or revise a trust.
- By a family or individual to guide long term needs, as well as elder planning.
Each life care plan is unique. It requires careful research, evaluation, determination of service needs, identification of relevant costs, and regard for the person's cultural, geographical and social affiliations.
- The process starts by reviewing all available lifetime medical, educational, vocational, legal and other pertinent records. This is especially important in injury related cases to determine pre-existing conditions that are not covered.
- In-depth and on-site interviews with the person of focus, as well as other involved parties are also important. This helps personalize presenting needs and identify likely services and supports in the person's community; these can vary widely.
- Formal contacts with existing services and professionals, as well as other identified experts help codify needs. The subsequent pricing of services requires careful methodological work to assure that the proper services and any viable alternatives are identified, as well as local costs. Costs can vary notably in different geographical regions.
- The resulting document can then be used by the individual, families, case managers and other key stakeholders to direct care and evaluate progress.
Engaging a Certified Life Care Planner assures the use of consistent and validated methodologies to create effective plans.