Life Care Planning / Cost of Future Care

Why Complete a Life Care Plan/Cost of Future Care Assessment?

 

  • health-lymphedemaWhat are my future healthcare needs going to be?
  • How can I take better care of myself to stay as active and independent as possible as I age?
  • How often should I plan to see my therapists?
  • How much assistance do I need to stay in my home?
  • How much housekeeping assistance or home maintenance help do I need?
  • What kind of medical supplies and equipment will I need and how often do they need to be replaced?
  • Where do I go for help?
  • How much is all of these services going to cost in the years to come?

A Life Care Plan/Cost of Future Care assessment will help to provide answers to these questions.

What is a Life Care Plan?

The life care plan is a dynamic document based upon published standards of practice, comprehensive assessment, data analysis, and research, which provides an organized, concise plan for current and future needs with associated costs for individuals who have experienced catastrophic injury or have chronic healthcare needs.” (2015, Standards of Practice for Life Care Planning, 3rd edition. International Association of Rehabilitation Professionals (IARP)).

In British Columbia, life care plans are commonly referred to as cost of future care assessments. An effective life care plan will outline a comprehensive program and timeline for services to focus on our client’s medical concerns and healthcare needs to provide a long term effective plan to:

  • Maximize our client’s level of independence;
  • Maximize their participation in productive activities in daily life;
  • Prevent deterioration of functional abilities over time;
  • Help prevent future medical complications;
  • Provides a personalized healthcare clinical planning tool providing a timeline and estimated costs for recommended healthcare services.

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This plan combines functional information gathered from practical, “real-life” functional testing and evaluation at our client’s home, input from the healthcare professionals involved in ongoing care.

This may include: Medical specialists, Family Physician, Nurses, Psychologists, Neuro-Psychologists, Dentists, Optometrists, Physiotherapists, Occupational Therapists, Chiropractors, Massage Therapists, Kinesiologist’s, Medical equipment and supply companies, and local providers of services such as housekeeping, yard and home maintenance, and community centres.

A Life Care plan report outlines anticipated frequency of services, costs, and replacement for:

  • Medical, rehabilitation and allied healthcare services
  • Nursing and homecare related services
  • Medications and medical supplies
  • Home and adapted equipment needs
  • Housekeeping support needs
  • Home maintenance needs
  • Home modifications, renovations and furnishings
  • Community health and maintenance services
  • Transportation and mobility needs
  • Vocational, educational and training needs

A completed Life Care Plan report is then typically reviewed by an actuarial to complete a comprehensive valuation of present day costs.

Canadians are fortunate to have publically funded healthcare to cover many of our medical and treatment needs. However, some medically recommended healthcare treatments, rehabilitation and allied health programs and services, specialized medical equipment, and medications, are not either funded, have limited funding, or residents face extraordinary wait times to gain access to specific services.

When Do I Need a Life Care Plan?

Life Care plans are commonly utilized in the medical-legal context for establishing appropriate costs to assist in establishing financial settlement terms in personal injury or medical malpractice claims when individuals have ongoing changes in their ability to complete daily living activities as a result of catastrophic injury or chronic healthcare needs.

Lawyers may request a Life Care Plan for their client prior to mediation and the settlement process. Lawyers may also request a review of opposing counsel’s rehabilitation expert Life Care Plans in preparation for mediation or cross examination.

Life Care Plans may be requested privately by an individual or family seeking guidance in planning and budgeting for their long term healthcare needs.

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