Is it Too Late to Create a Life Care Plan for my Grandfather?
by Wendie Howland, Life Care Planning Expert, LNCC
March 22, 2012
Question: My aged grandfather is already in a nursing home. Is it too late to create a Life Care Plan?
Answer: Life Care Plans are tools to help learn about and plan for expected needs over a person's life expectancy. This includes costs for medical care, such as equipment, physician and nursing care, medicines, and therapies, and also includes less-obvious things like goods and services to help with safe aging in place, transportation needs, and home modifications. For most people, it is never too late to have a good plan. A certified nurse life care planner can prepare a long term care plan to help a family understand what changes may occur with aging, too.
If your grandfather has exhausted his funds down to the Medicaid level in expectation of being a resident of the home for the remainder of his life, or if he has a terminal illness with hospice care and will not return to the hospital, his care needs are already well-known. If he has been admitted to the nursing home for a short stay, as to recover from a surgery or acute illness, life care planning can clarify options to help him life more safely at home after discharge. Many families also appreciate the opportunity to talk about end of life care with the nurse life care planner. Finally, for persons who have no nearby family, funds for their care are often held in trust under a guardianship arrangement. The trust officer or guardian often appreciates information from a certified nurse life care planner to help plan spending for the person's benefit and care over his lifetime.
Most certified nurse life care planners welcome the opportunity to discuss these and other issues with you. A life care plan will assist you in putting together the resources you need to get your grandfather what he needs.
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She is owner and principal of Howland Health Consulting, offering life care planning, case management, and legal nurse consulting services nationwide, primarily for persons with catastrophic or chronic injury or illness. She has a master's degree in nursing and holds national certifications in rehabilitation nursing, case management, and life care planning.
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