Has a relative or a loved one –
been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease?
been diagnosed with ALS?
suffered a stroke?
been involved in a traumatic, devastating accident?
Does a relative suffer from a life-long mental illness and is increasingly unable to function independently and care for themselves?
Is an elderly relative having difficulty managing at home independently?
When a family member receives a diagnosis of or has a chronic illness or injury that may require life time care and the complex interaction of social, medical and support services, it can be absolutely overwhelming. Most people do not know where to begin to determine what services are available to help their loved one and are extremely concerned about the time, energy and their lack of expertise in navigating the maze of obtaining such services.
Anxiety can arise if problems occur with hired caregivers, out of fear that their loved one's care will be adversely affected or retribution against the loved one will occur as a result of a complaint.
Life Care Planning Can Help
Life Care Planning is a holistic, comprehensive way of looking at and caring for the entire individual. Your legal, medical, social, spiritual needs and personal quality of life goals are all discussed and incorporated into a written plan that follows you from diagnosis to the end of your life.
Your goals, quality of life concerns, values and needs are absolutely paramount. Each life care plan is specifically tailored to your changing needs.
Advocacy is a centerpiece of life care planning. To enable you and your family to choose and receive the care and services needed, it is critical that you know an advocate is ready to assist in resolving such issues. We encourage you to involve us in these difficult discussions with care providers.
How Life Care Planning Works
Whether it's regarding a recent diagnosis that will eventually result in the death of a loved one, or for an individual who has a long-standing chronic care issue that is becoming overwhelming, or you simply want to preplan for the continuum of services likely to arise from an illness; all of these would benefit from someone to guide them through the selection, arrangement and advocacy for needed services. When an individual, family member or caring friend contacts the firm to discuss a crisis situation, our law firm can provide a Life Care Plan.
The first step is to meet with Debra Schuster, an attorney who specializes in working with aging individuals and persons who are disabled, to determine the client’s needs, concerns and goals. A comprehensive legal analysis, including an inventory of the legal documents the client may already have, or those that need to be prepared, will be provided. An explanation of what Life Care Planning is, how it can assist the client and his/her family will be explained, and if the client is interested in pursuing a Life Care Plan, an appointment with our Care Advocate will be scheduled.
Maria Miskovic, the Care Advocate/Coordinator, is an experienced Licensed Clinical Social Worker who has a thorough knowledge and familiarity with the services available in the greater St. Louis community and extensive expertise in and a love for working with families and individuals who are aging and disabled. Ms. Miskovic will meet with the client, family and/or caring friend to discuss and determine the client’s needs, goals and quality of life concerns. Ms Miskovic will visit the client, wherever he or she is living, to perform a comprehensive evaluation that will make specific care and if appropriate, living recommendations, to enable the client to achieve their quality of life goals and address their concerns. The quality of life, self sufficiency and safety of the client are our main concerns.
Once the care evaluation is completed, Debra Schuster and Maria Miskovic will prepare the written Life Care Plan that will incorporate all legal documentation and care recommendations and explain how to implement these recommendations. The Life Care Plan is presented to and discussed with the client and if appropriate, his/her family/caring friend at a meeting with Debra Schuster and the Maria Miskovic to answer any questions and concerns.
The Life Care Plan may make specific recommendations regarding the hiring of home care providers, participation in therapy or other programs, meal preparation or a move to a different setting, as agreed to by the client and those he/she wants involved in the process.
Once the Life Care Plan is accepted, Debra Schuster, Maria Miskovic and staff will assist in implementing the Life Care Plan, which includes making recommendations for care providers, helping the Client and family determine the questions to ask when interviewing care providers, evaluating programs and serving as the client’s advocate throughout the entire Life Care Plan process.
A client’s Life Care Plan is continually updated and revised as the client’s care needs and quality of life choices may change.
To obtain more information about Life Care Planning, complete the “Contact Us” section of our website. We look forward to hearing from and assisting you.