The history of life care planning is as impressi […]
The history of life care planning is as impressive as its definition. This process arose from the field of Rehabilitation Counseling and was based on its foundational tenets. Initially, the rehabilitation counseling plan focused on assisting individuals who had disabilities and maximizing their potential quality of life and independence. Rehabilitation counselors assist individuals with various physical, mental and emotional disabilities, as defined in the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the 1998 Amendments to the Rehab Act, as well as in the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
This assistance was provided based on a systematic approach. This process included gathering client information, assessing rehabilitation and medical needs, and developing realistic plans to minimize complications, while maximizing functional independence and mitigating disability. As the field evolved, attorneys, utilizing expert testimony from Rehabilitation Counselors and their plans, became increasingly reliant upon this document as a tool to support their claims of damages and future care needs.
Soon, the graduates of these rehabilitation counseling programs entered the workforce. Their plans were incorporated into their medical and vocational case management practice. The case management industry quickly recognized the value of these plans. The industry began marketing this plan to attorneys, families, and insurance companies. Registered nurses, physicians, psychologist, social workers and physical therapists began developing what is now known as Life Care Plans. Today, the profession is comprised of a variety of specialized disciplines and multiple perspectives.