Medical Care and Life Care Plans for Georgia Families
Some birth injuries heal in time, but many, such as cerebral palsy, are permanent. If your child was born with a lifelong injury, your family needs to be prepared for a lifetime of care. That can seem overwhelming, and rightly so. A life care plan can help you move forward.
What is a life care plan?
A life care plan is an organized, dynamic document that lays out the long-term plan to manage a chronic illness, such as cerebral palsy or epilepsy. The ultimate goal of a life care plan is to maximize the quality of life and independence of a person with special needs. Some of the elements of a life care plan include:
- Medications, such as muscle relaxers, pain medications and seizure control medications.
- Therapies, including physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech-language therapy.
- Medical devices such as movement and communication devices.
- Home or facility care, which may mean a visiting nurse or a long-term care facility.
- Surgical interventions and other medical treatments that may be needed.
- Potential complications and contingency plans to manage them.
- Ongoing assessment as symptoms change throughout life.
A lifetime of care means a lifetime of costs, sometimes in the millions or even tens of millions of dollars. Some of those costs may be paid by government benefits such as Social Security or Medicaid. Others can be managed through a special needs trust. A life care plan should include an accounting of the projected long-term costs and a plan to pay those costs.
The role of negligence and life care plans
Many special needs have preventable causes and occur because of medical negligence. If your child sustained a birth injury due to medical malpractice, you have recourse under Georgia law. Taking legal action against the negligent doctor can help you secure funding for your child's life care plan and pay for that lifetime of treatment. That's why we encourage families to speak to a birth injury attorney for a free consultation.