In the event that any person suffers a life altering injury, the provisions that must be made for his or her care can be more expansive than any ordinary person is able to handle. Life care planning is provided to those who have suffered permanent injuries and may not be able to care for themselves and will require some form of assisted care for the remainder of their lives. Life care planners are trained to develop and help execute plans that encompass all aspects of the victims’ needs which would include hospital discharges, doctor appointments, occupational or physical therapy, economic planning, revisions to their homes and acquiring the equipment necessary for their long term care.
When is Life Care Planning Required?
Sometimes the burden of caring for a family member who has been harmed in a horrible accident or during birth is too much to handle without the assistance of a trained life care planner. The types of injuries or accidents that may require life planning include but are not limited to the following.
- Paralysis— caring for a paralyzed family member is extremely expensive and requires much foresight and planning. Revisions must be made to the person’s home if he or she chooses to remain there in order to make it wheelchair accessible and special equipment may be needed to meet each individual’s medical needs. In order to allow someone who has been paralyzed to live as independently as possible, provisions must be provided in the form of wheelchair accessible vehicles and other implements. The average lifetime cost of caring for a loved one who has been paralyzed ranges between $1 million and $5 million, depending on the age at the time of injury.
- Traumatic brain injury— injuries that have resulted in severe brain damage can impair the victims’ cognitive and motor functions. In addition, their ability to concentrate or communicate may be compromised. Depending on the injury and severity, those suffering from these types of injuries may require physical therapy, speech therapy and occupational therapy.
- Birth defect or injury at time of birth— injuries resulting in conditions such as cerebral palsy, Erb’s palsy, mental retardation, congenital birth defects and developmental disorders place the affected children in a state of need for the majority of their lives. Throughout their early years, they may require continuous physical therapy, occupational therapy, tutoring and educational assistance, speech therapy and access to equipment such as braces or crutches. In some cases, children born with congenital defects or injury at birth must undergo multiple surgeries and be placed on medications for their entire lives and it is important to manage their care properly.
- Loss of limb— if someone loses a limb in an accident because of the need for amputation, it can be extremely difficult to adjust to a lifestyle without the missing limb. In some cases, the victim may need assistance with tasks we take for granted such as getting dressed or washing themselves. It is important that people who have suffered these types of injuries have access to the assistance they need as well as coping mechanisms which can be established through counselling or therapy.
What is the Role of a Life Care Planner?
In short, a life care planner makes sure that all aspects of your loved one’s care are managed and executed properly. Many treatment plans for life changing injuries require so many forms of care that it is easy to get lost in and overlook things that must be done. A life care planner will help with the following.
- Planning the end of a hospital stay, including determining where the he or she will be transported to upon discharge. A determination must be made of whether he or she will be best cared for at home or in a nursing facility.
- Scheduling and coordinating any appointments or therapy sessions. Catastrophic injuries often require care from numerous professionals and it is difficult to coordinate treatment without an organized plan in place to ensure that your loved one is scheduled to meet with his or her doctors and therapists when required.
- Ensuring that your loved one’s living space accommodates his or her needs. This includes making your home wheelchair accessible if needed and that you have all of the equipment you need such as oxygen tanks or other supplies.
- Arranging transportation when needed. This includes making sure that your loved one has access to a wheelchair accessible vehicle if applicable.
- Scheduling appointments with educational services such as a speech therapist, occupational therapist or tutor.
- Filling out and filing forms. Treatment plans that require visits with numerous specialists and professionals are accompanied with large stacks of paperwork and filing the paperwork incorrectly can result in financial hardship if benefits are denied or you lose access to financial assistance as a result.
- Managing economic factors. A life care planner will assess and make necessary accommodations to budget and provide for expenses so that all of your loved one’s medical bills and other needs are provided for.
The Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers are happy to help all of our personal injury clients with life changing injuries obtain a life care planner so that they are able to rest assured that they and their loved ones will not go without anything they need. If you or someone you love has been injured because of someone else’s negligence, contact us to arrange a free consultation to learn more about your legal options and the services that we can provide you on your path to physical and financial recovery. Our lawyers only receive payment when they successfully secure compensation for our clients so if we fail to do so, our services will cost you nothing.