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What is life care planning and how can it help me and my family?

In preparing for the future, it can be difficult to know exactly what to plan for, so most people will make sure the basics are covered. Many Colorado residents know it is a good idea to have retirement accounts in place, estate plans completed and wills prepared. However, few may consider or even know about life care planning. In this article we'll discuss what life care planning is and how it can help you and your family.

Life care planning has been around for about 40 years. Its purpose is to create a plan for those who suffer from catastrophic injuries and require long-term medical care and have rehabilitation needs. Having this type of plan in place gives family members a clear, step-by-step guide as to how you want to be taken care of in the event of disability or incapacitation. This is a plan that takes a collaborative effort to design and often includes input from medical providers, rehabilitative specialists, case managers, legal counsel and psychologists or other behavioral health specialists.

A life care plan, if properly created, will reflect the unique and specialized needs of the individual it is created for. It will provide a comprehensive plan for family members and practitioners to follow. This can be a significant benefit for family members, as they won't be left having to make difficult decisions on their own. This is also a benefit for you, as this is a legal document that states exactly how you wish to be treated and cared for if you are no longer able to do it for yourself.

Life care planning digs deep into a person's wants and needs for care in the event of catastrophic injury. While most Colorado residents don't want to even consider that this type of event may be in their future, there is no harm in making preparations just in case. Legal counsel is available to help work through this process step-by-step, to ensure every possible scenario is considered and your wants and needs are documented.

Source: cirrie.buffalo.edu, "Life Care Planning", Paul M. Deutsch, Nov. 24, 2014

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