Letter of Intent: outline of care for your child or parent with a disability

Feb 09, 18 Letter of Intent: outline of care for your child or parent with a disability
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Letter of Intent. An outline of care for your child or parent with a disability.

Parents of disabled children often worry about what will happen if they’re not around. Children of disabled parents wonder the same. Primary caregivers know the daily routine. They know food preferences. They know religious preferences (if any). They know the adult or child in ways most others won’t because others don’t see the most intimate and private parts of their lives. But there is a tool for parents and caregivers to prepare for the future. Something as simple as a handwritten note detailing what you see everyday can be a valuable resource. In legalese the outline of care is called a “Letter of Intent.” This document gives an overview of the person’s family history, medical condition, and daily schedule. It can include details such as food preparation and how involved the person is in cooking meals and even meal clean-up. Be as specific as possible. Share with a trusted family member or family friend what type of environment is best for your child or parent. Is the child able to have a roommate or would it be better for the child to have a room to himself? Would your parent prefer to live with family or should someone work with your parent to find a suitable service or agency that can provide support in her own home. There’s no such thing as too much detail.

Letter of Intent Cheat Sheet

The good folks at Maryland Financial Advocates have drafted a document that can be used as a Letter of Intent template (click here). It describes many categories that you should consider including. There’s no right or wrong way to do it. You don’t need an attorney, but you can certainly include the details in your estate papers or have a lawyer create the document for you.

Be sure to share your experiences with others (how you approach creating an outline of care) in our Aging and Disabilities Forum.


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External resources

Administration for Community Living

Pathfinders for Autism

Disability Scoop

Maryland Financial Advocates

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