Do you have a loved one with a disabling condition? Are you the caregiver for your disabled loved one? As Florida estate planning and elder law attorneys, we know how challenging it can be to ensure that your loved one is protected on a daily basis. Are you concerned about maintaining these lifetime caregiving needs knowing there may be a future that may not include you.

We know that there are planning opportunities to ensure that your loved one with a disabling condition will be as supported as he or she can be. While we may not personally understand what you are going through, as every person’s situation is unique, we do understand the Florida law surrounding how you may protect yourself and your family.

It is such a challenge to watch a loved one struggle with a disabling condition. Let us share five tips that can help you plan for your loved one, and yourself.

1. Plan for lifetime needs first. It can be hard to be a caregiver, even under the best of circumstances. Remind yourself that any behaviors you are witnessing may be the symptoms of his or her illness. There may be nothing you can do to change him or her, nor should you expect the behavior to change. The best thing you can do may be to utilize the various techniques to comfort him or her and keep him or her safe within the disease process. In addition, with the goal of retaining the dignity of your loved one, be sure to broach the subject of supportive devices, as opposed to presenting them in a paternalistic or demeaning way.

2. Keep a record of what you do each day! Make sure there is a detailed record of what you do, and do not do, for your loved one. From prescriptions to allergies to doctors to care needs, do not do everything alone. Get the support you need and make sure other family members and friends have access to this information as well.

3. Keep things simple. Often, a person experiencing a disability may be overwhelmed and confused by various situations. To help and support your loved one, keep explanations straightforward and easy and tasks uncomplicated.

4. Help your loved one establish a routine. In addition to keeping things simple, a routine can also help a person feel safe. Suggestions for a routine could include a morning regimen, regular meal times and a daily walk. A routine would provide the security of structure to the day. Together you and your loved one could create a written schedule that could hang on the wall.

5. Most importantly, get the legal planning you need to accomplish your goals. You need an experienced Florida attorney on your side, because the law helping those with a disabling condition is complicated. A Florida elder law attorney will create the estate plan you need for both your lifetime, and the future of your loved one. In addition, under the guidance of your Florida elder law attorney he can let you know what actions could potentially remove your loved one’s access to both state and federal benefits.

As the caregiver, remember to be kind to yourself. Caring for another person can be a rewarding,but also exhausting, experience. It may not always go perfectly, but that is okay, treat yourself with the same kindness that you would treat your loved one. The fact that you are present and caring for your loved one can be the greatest source of support and comfort you can provide.

For more ways you can plan forward and help support your loved one with a disabling condition, please contact our law practice to schedule a time to meet.