“What if I die?” Creating a care plan to combat the secret fear of every special needs parent
I recently wrote about finally (finally!) taking a real vacation… without kids! Leaving the kids with my parents of course brought on some anxiety, but one of the more irrational worries I had was what if something happened to me while I was away? What if I died? Who could possibly care for Shelby with all her complex needs if I wasn’t here to do it?
Well, the beauty of thinking about that morbid prospect was that it spurred me into action. Because really, you don’t need a vacation to experience an accident—anything can happen and we all feel better when we are prepared for the unexpected.
The lovely Amber shared her family’s resources with me and then I took several days and composed Shelby’s care plan. I want to share this process with you so you can see how important it is to have everything documented and written down. Yes, this would be invaluable to your family to have if something tragic happened to you—but this is also a tremendous resource to have an hand for yourself!
Building Your Care Plan
- First, I reviewed Shelby’s care map. I learned about care mapping at the AMAZING Advocacy Bootcamp I took in the fall of 2015. Cristin Lind, the mum who developed the care map also participated in some of the same workshops I mentioned in this post. I could not have created the document without the foundation of Shelby’s care map. Look at Cristin’s own blog about developing a care map.
- Next, I divided Shelby’s needs based on my care map silos.
- Then surprise surprise I outlined everything!!! On paper first so that when it came time to enter it into Google Docs I had reviewed the information at least three times.
Please look through these templates and see what might work for you. Oh, and yes, take that vacation! I can’t tell you how much it helped me, my body and mind feel amazing… and not just from the massages and steam room.
Nicole Feeney writes about how God grew the Feeney family from two to four to five in two quick years… and the subsequent adventures on her blog, Fab Feeney Five.
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