For anyone caring for a person – a grandchild, child, aunt, uncle, or another relative – with an intellectual or developmental disability (I/DD), a gnawing question is: "What happens to my loved one when I'm gone?"
A recent NPR story (https://n.pr/3AUr4sF) explored some challenges and the importance of planning a future for someone with I/DD.
It's a formidable task because you must consider and address every aspect of a person's life.
If you're the caretaker of someone with I/DD, one starting point for developing a long-term care plan is the Arc's tool (https://bit.ly/3XCzPBH), Build Your Plan®.
It takes you through the step-by-step, asking you to consider everything from housing and finances to a person's daily living issues, employment, and social connections.
The Arc, an advocacy group for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, has 600 chapters across the country.
The plan should consider everything about a person's life, including:
If you're concerned about where your loved one will live, the Build Your Plan® housing tool can point you in the right direction.
It asks you to create a wish list for a future home and to identify potential hurdles. The process includes determining whether independent living, a group home, or apartment life with a roommate is appropriate and identifying who can act as a person's housing advocate.
It also encourages you to consider some key questions, including:
In addition, you can find tips on choosing lawyers who can advise you on the legal issues.
Once you've worked through the entire tool, you walk away with the to-dos you need to work on and a view of the future.
Though the process is complex and daunting, others have successfully navigated the difficult questions and have shared their experiences through videos (https://bit.ly/3FdWZqU).
Jason Gelios is a Husband and Father. After that, a Top Producing REALTOR®, Author of the books 'Think like a REALTOR®' and 'Beating The Force Of Average', Creator of The AskJasonGelios Real Estate Show and Expert Media Contributor to media outlets across the country.