We are living longer- everyone is. Over the last few months I have seen an increase in referrals by older adults who are doing their estate planning AND need to ensure care and financial arrangements are in place for their adult dependent offspring. My legal and trust colleagues can describe the necessary steps, which often include a Henson Trust or perhaps a Guardianship application.
The need for ‘supportive independent’ living may sound like an oxymoron however the concept is quite simple. Moving away from the family home and establishing one’s self is not possible for everyone. Supported living is defined as “enriched and enhanced supports provided based upon an individual’s identified level of support requirements. Each individual supported in the Supported Independent Living Program is allocated a specific set of hours per week in order that they live a quality of life based upon a person-centred model of support.” There are some government programs that can assist.
However many individuals have a different diagnoses and the same level of supports may not be available for someone with uncontrolled epilepsy, acquired brain injury (ABI) or mental health challenges.
The goal of every parent is to encourage and have their child live as independently as possible in a safe and supportive environment. No matter the age of that child, I believe the goal is the same.
Most times a creative solution is needed to build in the required supports. The need for accommodation is first- where will this person live once their parents pass? Will they live with a relative, a guardian, or can like minded families come together to build/rent a home that is suited to the needs of the individual(s)?
Who will advocate for them and ensure their needs are being met? Who will hire support staff and ensure appropriate planning is in place? Who will review their care plans?
There are lots of questions and not as many answers/resources as one might like. Estate planning needs to include ‘peace of mind’ . The Special Needs Planning Group is an organization that is made up entirely of parents of people with disabilities.
Start the process early and talk with other families and professionals who can assist in providing support, information and hopefully peace of mind.