Living independently in one’s own home, the home of a loved one, or in a senior living community is a person-centered approach to care that promotes independence and the highest level of functioning while allowing for aging with individual choice and dignity. For those with serious illnesses or grave disabilities, living independently requires accessing both public and private resources to meet their medical and care needs, which might otherwise require nursing home care.
Public resources may include both governmental and other community benefits, such as Medi-Cal and Veteran’s Pension with Aid and Attendance , senior day care, in-home care agencies, meals on wheels, and others. Private resources include assets (savings and home equity) and existing long-term care insurance providers to pay for care as well as supportive individuals (family and friends) who can provide care.
In the context of Elder Care, living independently may be one step in the continuum of care under a comprehensive
Life Care Plan
. In the context of persons with disabilities, living independently is a philosophy that promotes self-sufficiency, self-determination and self-respect.
According to a research study whose findings appear in the November 3, 2010 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association, to be successful, a plan for care of an elder who wishes to live independently, involves four key components:
- assessing the elder’s medical, psychosocial, lifestyle and values issues;
- creating and implementing a plan of care that addresses all of the elder’s health needs;
- communicating and coordinating with those who provide care for the elder; and
- promoting the elder’s, as well as his or her family’s, involvement in the elder’s health care plan.
At the firm of Carney, Sugai and Sudweeks, we have made a commitment to assisting our clients to live as independently as possible for as long as possible. To this end, we have a highly qualified Elder Care Coordinator on our staff that has the skills and experience to assist our clients to live independently by addressing all four of these key components. The care services of our Elder Care Coordinator can be accessed independent of the firm’s legal services or as part of the firm’s comprehensive and holistic Life Care Planning program that provides Long-term Care Planning services as well as care services.