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Once you find out your child has cerebral palsy, you should start thinking about a life care plan. A life care plan can help you tremendously with the care for your child in numerous areas and transcends into adulthood to assist in life.
What is a Life Care Plan?
A care plan is a detailed map, generally constructed by an experienced cerebral palsy attorney, with the assistance of physicians, nurses, and other professionals that will help with your child’s health, medical mental, and emotional needs for life. 
Once a life plan is put together, it’s provided to a jury as proof of the costs associated with the lifetime care of the child. It’s also considered a type of “blueprints” for parents and caregivers so that they can understand the long-term needs of the child.
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For example, a life care plan generally includes:
- Educational costs and expenses
- Current medical costs and expenses and a list of medical professionals that currently assist the child
- Home accommodation expenses and needed home accessories costs
- Expected future medical costs and expenses throughout the child’s life
- Rehabilitation services required and expected
- A list of blood tests and X-rays the child will need
- Adaptive equipment and toys
- Full list of medication the child is likely to need throughout his/her lifetime
- Medical and therapy goals
- In-home care expenses
- Vocational counseling and costs to help transition into adulthood
- Prosthetics and walking-aid costs (wheelchairs,etc.)
- Expected living expenses when the child transitions into adulthood.
Why Should a Life Care Plan be Developed?
According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), a life care plan helps disabled children with cerebral palsy throughout a lifetime with medical, educational, rehabilitation, and emotional needs.
A life care plan is a legal document that outlines what the child will need in all of the areas mentioned above. Any disabled child who will need assistance with care throughout his/her life is recommended to get a life care plan.
Psychological and emotional factors also play a factor in a life care plan for children with cerebral palsy who already do or are expected to go through these types of issues. A child with brain damage is at least four times more likely to experience the problems with behavior when compared to those who do not have brain damage.
Early counseling and therapy are needed for these children, as well as for parents who aren’t aware of the demands of these problems. A life care plan details the type of assistance needed for the child, in addition to the costs associated with it.
Also, numerous parents of adults with cerebral palsy have reported that caring for their adult children makes it extremely difficult to save for emergencies or retirement. In some instances, parents of adults with cerebral palsy cannot take care of their adult children at all.
A life care plan ensures that a child’s medical, emotional, and educational needs are taken care of, which helps them transition more effectively into adulthood.
A comprehensive life care plan can assist adults with cerebral palsy with food, clothing, finances, healthcare, shelter, and even entertainment expenses and employment options.
Cost Analysis of a Life Care Plan
The cost analysis of a life care plan depends on many things, including the severity of cerebral palsy, any associated conditions with the disorder, the child’s individual needs, the child’s expected lifespan, and cognitive and emotional issues. 
Although a life care plan isn’t capable of predicting the exact amount of expenses each child will need, financial experts work with the child’s care plan to formulate expected inflation in costs and fees as the child gets older.
Who Should I Contact About Starting a Life Care Plan for My Child?
It’s always recommended to get in touch with a cerebral palsy attorney who is experienced not only in creating life care plans but also knowledgeable in handling cases involving children with special needs.
- Katz RT and Johnson CB. (2013, April 13). Life care planning for the child with cerebral palsy. - PubMed - NCBI. National Center for Biotechnology Information.
Retrieved from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23910487
- Krause, PhD, J., & Saunders, PhD, L. (2014, October 1). Life expectancy estimates in the life care plan: Accounting for economic factors. PubMed Central (PMC).
Retrieved from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4181946/