‘Life Care Plans’ Help Provide for Your Child’s Medical Needs and Future

Raising a child with cerebral palsy can cost thousands of dollars per year in medical expenses, devices, and treatments. It may take several million dollars to sustain a child with cerebral palsy throughout his or her life. A Life Care Plan is something parents and caregivers can develop to ensure a family has enough financial means to pay for cerebral palsy throughout a child’s lifetime. Creating a Life Care Plan can help you feel more in control and give you better peace of mind regarding your child’s future.

What is a Life Care Plan?

A Life Care Plan is essential for children with cerebral palsy. It helps your child get the most out of life, and helps caregivers know exactly how to accommodate a child’s unique needs. A Life Care Plan is a detailed map that outlines your child’s present and future medical, educational, physical, social, emotional, and financial needs. The sooner you start yours, the easier mapping your child’s future care and medical needs will be.

A Life Care Plan covers all the bases in terms of what your child will need to thrive. Your cerebral palsy roadmap will help you explore all potential assistive outlets, including the best medical care and financial assistance available. It will serve as a blueprint for you to understand the lifetime needs of your child. Having a Life Care Plan can not only help your child, but it can also serve as evidence of lifelong costs during a medical malpractice case.

Many parents turn to cerebral palsy lawyers for assistance in creating Life Care Plans. Since they are detailed and highly intricate, a lawyer’s unique expertise and connections within the industry can be of significant help. Life Care Plans may also include legal matters, such as advance directives, powers of attorney, and wills and estate plans. Using a lawyer can make creating a Life Care Plan easier on your family.

How to Create a Life Care Plan

All cerebral palsy caregivers should have Life Care Plans. Creating one starts with knowing what your plan should include. Every plan is 100% customized to the individual. Your plan may not need all the elements someone else has, or you may need additional features for severe cerebral palsy. Some of the most common elements in a Life Care Plan are as follows:

  • Cerebral palsy care team. The care team is crucial, and can include a wide variety of experts and caregivers. It should include someone for every task you cannot do on your own. Most care teams have doctors, cerebral palsy specialists, therapists, lawyers, caregivers, and community members who can help your child during his or her lifetime. Ask for referrals in your area to help form your care team.
  • Comprehensive treatment plan. The treatment plan will outline your child’s diagnosis, prognosis, life expectancy, and personalized treatment plan from the physician. Treatments may include medications, surgeries, and multiple types of therapy. It will list treatments in detail, naming physicians, timelines, and costs of services.
  • Education and learning. It is never too early to start planning your child’s education. Early intervention and therapies from a young age can help your child improve motor skills, communication, speech, social skills, and more. Plan an education team, such as special education teachers, speech and language pathologists, psychologists, specialists, and therapists who can help you develop personalized interventions for early learning.
  • Government services. Federal and state assistance services are available for families supporting children with cerebral palsy. Your Life Care Plan should involve any and all services your child may qualify to receive, including Medicare/Medicaid, home-based services, children’s health insurance, caregiver resources, long-term care services, housing assistance, food assistance, job training, community-based services, and more.
  • Financial matters. One of the most important elements of a Life Care Plan is the financial side of cerebral palsy. Work with experts to estimate the lifetime costs of raising your child. Include medical expenses, live-in care costs, lost work productivity and wages, therapies, non-medical provisions, food, housing, home/vehicle modifications, special education, and any other expenses relating to your child’s care. Your financial plan will help you balance family’s finances while caring for a special needs child.
  • Legal considerations. You may have the right to pursue financial compensation through a medical malpractice settlement or verdict if a negligent doctor or hospital caused your child’s cerebral palsy. Your Life Care Plan should include any litigation plans, legal costs, attorney’s fees, and any financial recovery you have received to benefit your child, such as Lifetime Financial Benefits.

Again, most parents and caregivers do not create cerebral palsy Life Care Plans alone. Instead, they rely on lawyers to create the plan for them. A lawyer will consult with physicians, economic experts, and other professionals to document medical records and financial expenses. A Life Care Plan can help you take each step of your child’s care at a time, knowing exactly what to expect in the future. It can help your child’s overall well-being and make you feel more in control of your child’s future.