Americans are increasingly living longer, including those with disabilities. As caregivers begin to age, whether it be a spouse, parent, or sibling, it is important to develop a care plan to provide for a loved one long term.
It is equally important for a newly disabled person to develop a comprehensive care plan, addressing various aspects of care. This includes health care planning, financial planning, mobility support, potential government assistance, etc.
A Plan of Care
A plan of care establishes where a disabled loved one will live, who will be responsible for assisting with decision making, and who will monitor the care. It is beneficial to have a written statement of wishes, prepared by the disabled person or the guardian, to explain needs and preferences. This way, the requisite level of care continues even after the loss of the caregiver.
In addition, it is important to have an advanced health care directive that details the preferrable responses in certain health care emergencies.
Health care planning
Mobility and accomodation planning
Government assistance planning
Advanced health care directives
Power of Attorney (POA)
A written plan of care must also ensure that the required funds are available to finance the care. There are multiple options available to families when it comes to long-term financing of care. Options include: Estate planning, Special needs trusts, Life insurance, Government assistance, and many others.