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Once you find out your child has cerebral palsy, it’s important to create a life care plan. A cerebral palsy life care plan can assist your child in numerous areas, such as expected medical expenses, educational costs, and home accommodations. A detailed life care plan includes the transition to adulthood.
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, you can use it in settlement negotiations or a civil trial as proof of the costs associated with the child’s lifetime care. It’s also considered a type of “blueprint” for parents and caregivers to understand the long-term needs of the child.
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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
- Complete list of medication the child is likely to need throughout their lifetime
- Medical and therapy goals
- In-home care expenses
- Vocational counseling and costs to help transition into adulthood
- Prosthetics and walking-aid costs
- Expected living expenses when the child transitions into adulthood
Why Should a Life Care Plan Be Developed?
A life care plan helps disabled children with cerebral palsy with medical, educational, rehabilitation, and emotional needs throughout their lifetime.
A life care plan is a legal document that outlines what the child will need in all of the areas mentioned above. Experts recommend a life care plan for any disabled child who will need assistance and care throughout their life.
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 issues.
A child with brain damage is at least four times more likely to experience problems with behavior when compared to those who do not have brain damage. Children and parents benefit from behavioral and other therapies.
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 cannot predict 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?
Talk to your primary physician about preparing a life care plan. Also get in touch with a cerebral palsy attorney who is experienced in creating life care plans and 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/