The Danger Of Not Having A Life Plan

September 16, 2022

Who will be there for your loved one when you can not be? I know this the #1 fear for many parents/ caregivers, and it can be hard to talk about…

But we need to talk about it because if you don’t have a plan in place, it is dangerous for your loved one because they will fall victim to an institutionalized system. This is the horrific reality for many people with developmental disabilities today.

The Good News is that this doesn’t have to be your loved one’s life story. You can take action to create a better life for your loved one, and it all starts with creating a life plan.

So I’ve got a short video and article to teach you more about life planning, how it will help your loved one live a good life, and how you can get started.

Register for the Life Plan Workshop here: https://www.empoweringability.org/workshop/

Written Article/ Transcript:

Why do you need a life plan for your loved one with a developmental disability? Well, if you don’t do it, the system will do it for you. And that’s dangerous. And this came from an executive director who’s worked in the field of developmental disability for 40-plus years. Okay, so this might seem, I don’t know, extreme, but it’s dangerous. If you don’t create a life plan is dangerous. It’s like Eric, you know, that seems outrageous. But let’s dissect this a little bit. Let’s break it down. Why is it dangerous if you don’t create a life plan for your loved one? And if you will the system do it? Why is that dangerous? Well, it’s dangerous because your loved one will fall victim to an institutional system. And what does that mean? In adult life, that means a day program and a group home. And what are the results of being in those environments? Well, your loved one will be separated, your loved one will be isolated, and your loved one will be devalued. Okay, I’m picturing this in my mind is like a three-headed fire breathing Dragon; separation, isolation, devaluation. What all of those things lead to is outcomes that are not good for your loved one. They all lead to devalued outcomes, and what happens to people that are devalued? People that are devalued in society, are abused and mistreated.

So that’s why your loved one needs a life plan. That’s why it is dangerous if you let the system do it for you. So it’s important.

What I’m getting at is that it’s important that you create a life plan for your loved one with your loved one. Now, I’m saying life plan, and you can use those words interchangeably with vision, person-centred plan or person-directed plan. Okay, so you might have heard those things before. And I want you to know that there’s better than a special needs life, there’s better than a group home, there’s better than a day program for your loved one. It’s just we’re not often told about those other options or possibilities. And I’ve guided over 500 families to create a life plan to create an awesome ordinary life vision with their loved one. You need a plan. And the way that I support families to help them build a plan is to think about what are all the important or key areas of your loved one’s life? And that breaks down to capability or independence? And how do you grow that? Relationships. Okay, so often people with developmental disabilities just have paid relationships in their life, right? That’s not a good thing. Because payed people come and go all the time. And you want people who will be there for your loved one over the long term. So I help families strategically think through how you build long-term, freely given, trusted relationships that will be there for your loved one. So super, super important. And the system’s not going to do that for you. Okay. So the next piece is around contribution; how can we support our loved one and influence our loved one to be contributing in a valued way? How do we get our loved one out of those devalued roles, or start to maybe minimize those devalued roles and into valued ones? How do we get our loved one contributing so that other people are seeing our loved one as valued? Okay, that could be things like paid employment. Paid employment is a valued role. It could be things like finding ordinary ways to contribute to community groups in your loved one’s community. And the next really important thing is home; what would it look like for your loved one to have a home of their own? Where they’re living with people they choose to live with? Or maybe they live in their own apartment, for example? It’s possible for your loved one. The next piece is supports and finances. How do we make sure your loved ones is well supported with the right types of support. Paid support can be important, but there’s more types than just paid support. And finances, how do we structure that so your loved one is set up on a sustainable path?

So if all that sounds like it’d be helpful to start with your loved one or your loved one, I invite you to join us in the upcoming workshop.

So I’ve got a link below.

Register for the Life Plan Workshop here: https://www.empoweringability.org/workshop/

It will be super powerful and helpful for you and your family. It will help to give you more peace of mind, more security and sustainability for your loved one moving forward. So I’d love it if you registered if you haven’t yet. I know many people have already signed up. So click the link below and join us and start your life plan with your loved one or even update your life plan with your loved one is a great place to be doing that again; click the link below and join us. It’s going to be amazing.

Register for the Life Plan Workshop here: https://www.empoweringability.org/workshop/

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