Life Care Planning FAQ
Life Care Planning Frequently Asked Questions San Ramon, Califronia
Q: What is Life Care Planning?
A: A Life Care Plan is an individualized road map to manage the many issues surrounding long life. While your legal documents are the foundation of your plan, it is a relationship and a planning process with us that evolves as your circumstances change over time that truly enhances your quality of life.
We have three primary goals in creating and implementing your Life Care Plan.
Your Life Care Plan empowers you and your loved ones to maintain, or often to regain, control during a time of uncertainty. We are here to provide the legal protections and counsel necessary for your peace of mind while you face the ongoing challenges of aging.
Q: What is the difference between an elder law firm that practices Life Care Planning and a traditional elder law firm?
A: Most asset-focused elder law attorneys limit their practice to clients who are facing the asset protection crisis created by the need for nursing home care. Until this crisis, which typically happens late in the elder's life, the burden of researching, coordinating and delivering care is shouldered by the primary caregivers. Most families need help much earlier. Elder law practices operating under a multi-disciplinary Life Care Planning model are in a unique position to offer that help, giving families relief from worries about care before, during, and after the elder's transition to long-term care.
Q: Don't elder law attorneys just work with families when they need to place an elderly relative in a nursing home?
A: Like traditional elder law firms, Life Care Planning Law Firms help families make immediate arrangements for long-term care in order to protect an elder's health and safety, handling all the legal work and helping families find and pay for the right care without bankrupting the elder. But they offer much more.
First, they offer care coordination and support to families whose elderly loved ones are still living at home or with family. On-staff care coordinators locate and coordinate needed care and community services, offer family education and serve as the elder's advocate. This lightens the load for family caregivers, improves the elder's quality of life and can even postpone the need for nursing home care.
Second, while the elder is still living at home or with family, they develop a plan to handle the legal, financial, health care, housing, and long-term care issues as the elder's condition progresses. If and when nursing home care is needed, the family already has a plan in place to access public benefits as well as a plan to find and pay for needed care. This early planning enables the family to bypass the asset protection crisis that occurs when they have to make last-minute for an elder's long-term care.
Third, when the elder is in a residential care facility, a care coordinator may visit to maintain a relationship, assess quality of care and serve as the family's advocate. If the problems occur with the long-term care facility, the firm's elder law attorney gets involved to resolve them as quickly as possible. This offers reassurance to family members - near and far- that the elder will enjoy the highest quality of life.