What is a Life Care Plan?
A life care plan is a way to assess the lifetime needs and the medical costs of an individual with a disability. The definition of a life care plan per the International Association of Rehabilitation Professionals 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 experience catastrophic injury or have chronic health care needs."
What does a Life Care Plan include?
A life care plan can include:
- Evaluations- therapy modalities, physicians
- Therapies- physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, vocational rehabilitation
- Diagnostic testing- CT, MRI,
- Durable medical equipment- Canes, wheelchairs, chairlifts
- Prescription and non-prescription medications
- Doctor’s visits- primary care visits, specialist visits, chiropractic visits
- Future surgery
- Architectural modifications
- Home Care/Facility Care
What does a life care plan accomplish?
A physician must determine the extent and future needs of physical and cognitive impairments, address prognosis and future medical and rehabilitative care, and a life care planner can calculate the cost of interventions, medical care, and future equipment and adaptations. This can give an estimate of the costs of future medical care for the individual with a disability or chronic health conditions.
When can a Life Care Plan be helpful?
Life Care Plans can be helpful in disabilities including:
- Spinal cord injury
- Traumatic Brain Injury
- Car accidents
- Work injuries
- Chronic pain
- Spinal injuries
What to consider when choosing a Life Care Planner?
- Whether or not the Life Care Planner is certified
- Experience of a Life Care Planner especially in the field of rehabilitation medicine
- Understanding of the health care system
- Experience with disabilities and long-term care
- Experience with treatment options
- Experience in consulting with medical professionals