Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Special Needs Adult Children Need A Plan for Their Future

After a lifetime of caring for their child at home, parents of children who are intellectually and/or developmentally challenged don't want to give up their authority to strangers, but what happens if they haven't established plans for when they are too sick to provide care or have passed away?

For decades in their homes, many families have provided full-time care for family members who are severely disabled, without accessing in-home social services. They may have resisted tapping into government programs or didn't trust others to help. Some have cared for children with multiple disabilities who don't fit into supported housing scenarios. Whatever the case may be, parents should not hesitate to find out what they can do to provide for their adult child with special needs when they are gone.

With a 10-year wait for home and community-based programs in Texas, it often takes a crisis such as the death of a parent, a medical emergency or another tragic event to get priority on the waiting list.

Establishing a decision-making process during the parents' lifetime reduces distress for the adult child who is disabled when transitioning from home to community services.

If an adult child who is disabled has capacity, then it's important to put advance directives in place, including a Durable Financial Power of Attorney, Medical Power of Attorney, HIPAA Authorization, Physician's Directive or "Living Will," and a Declaration of Guardian to allow trusted decision makers to step in when parents are no longer able to.

If the adult child does not have the requisite capacity to execute advance directives, then a guardianship will need to be established for decision making. Putting a guardianship in place ahead of time, during the parents' lifetime, eases the transfer of decision-making.

Full Article and Source:
Elder Law:  Special Needs Adult Children Need a Plan for Their Future


Thelma said...

This is very important for the children as they become elders or lose their parents, but there are problems in the guardian courts where corrupt judges have been allowed to override these advance directives. Be aware!

StandUp said...

What they need is a plan that does not include guardianship.