By Lisa Hostetler Brown, Certified Elder Law Attorney; Upstate Elder Law – A Division of LawyerLisa, LLC
More and more adult children are being thrust into caregiver roles every day. As our parents and family members age, they may need assistance with the activities of daily living. It may not be safe for them to stay home alone for long periods of time, or maybe not at all. Their next of kin often bear the burden of handling day-to-day finances, health care decision-making, and even hands-on care.
There are many things to consider and plan for when fulfilling this role. Some of the common concerns that arise are:
- Can my loved one stay at home with assistance or do they need to move to a facility?
- I can’t keep providing care to my loved one at this rate, I need some help.
- How do I find quality caregivers and facilities when needed?
- My loved one’s finances may not pay for the care they need, what are my options?
- Is my loved one entitled to any additional income or government benefits?
- How should I be managing and protecting my loved one’s assets? What am I allowed to do? What am I supposed to be doing?
- What else should I be doing that I don’t know about?
- How do I protect myself from doing something wrong?
Traditional Elder Law has focused on assisting clients with planning for and addressing the legal considerations that are unique to older adults. This includes some components of financial planning, estate planning, and asset preservation. For example, a traditional elder law firm might help a client by preparing wills and powers of attorney or setting up an irrevocable trust to help them qualify for Medicaid in the future.
Life Care Planning, on the other hand, takes a significantly more holistic approach to this traditional elder law paradigm by introducing the goal of promoting good health and quality of life for the chronically ill or disabled senior. A Life Care Planning firm is more than just legal staff. They are a team of professionals with a variety of experience working with and advocating for the elderly. This firm assists clients by addressing both their current and future health care needs. This includes assisting the elderly and their families with locating quality care, monitoring the care that is being provided on an ongoing basis (whether in home or in a facility), and identifying available resources to pay for care. These services are provided by an “Elder Care Coordinator” who works closely with legal staff to ensure that the client’s legal, financial, and personal care needs are always being met.
The peace of mind that these services provide to Life Care Planning clients and their families is incomparable. It can also relieve a lot of stress and worry from the family who would otherwise be navigating this all alone. If you think you or a loved one could benefit from Life Care Planning services, reach out to a qualified Life Care Planning Law Firm for a consultation. Don’t leave your family in a bind, plan ahead now!
The information contained in this article is for general educational purposes only and should not be relied upon without a specific review of your particular situation. It is not legal advice. If you would like legal advice on this topic, please schedule a consultation with our office by calling 864-990-0347 or by emailing info@LawyerLisa.com.