If you don’t have a plan, you’re planning to fail. – Benjamin Franklin
We need to plan for who will care for our loved one with a developmental disability for when the time comes that we can’t. I know this is your #1 fear, and it can be hard to talk about…
But, if you don’t have a plan in place, your loved one is at greater risk of falling into the ‘system’ and experiencing harm. And, this is the horrific reality of many people with developmental disabilities today.
You want your loved one to have the best life possible, so I’ve got a short video and article to teach you more about life planning and how you can get started.
P.S. If you haven’t registered yet, I invite you to join us in the Life Plan Workshop on February 22nd to get started!
If you don’t have a plan, you are planning to fail.
I’m Eric Goll. And I am a family coach and a family member.
I want to discuss why having a life plan for your loved one with a developmental disability is so important. But you might also be asking the question, Eric, what do you mean by a life plan?
I’ve had the pleasure of supporting my sister Sarah to create a life plan and 500 other families to support their loved one to create their own customized, individualized, awesome, ordinary life plan.
So you got this question, what is a life plan? A life plan is thinking about as your loved one gets older what does that life look like? And what are the things that are most important to your loved one and important to your family? So, it could be things like relationships, work, contributing to the community, friendships, where’s your loved one going to live? All of these things are important to your loved one’s life. And we need to be really intentional about, about thinking about those things, and about bringing in the right people to support your loved one throughout their life.
And this can feel like a bit of a daunting task!
So you could start by writing down what you envision the future to potentially look like. But then you start to think, what am I going to write? What will I put in here in this life plan? And that’s important. And so, I want to tell you about the things that I help families think about that are essential when creating that life plan.
So one of the starting places that I start with families is thinking about capability. And in other words, independence. So think about how your loved one can grow their independence and capability? The next thing we think about is relationships. And typically, when I’m life planning with families we’re thinking about five years out, so five years from now. So what would your loved ones Awesome Ordinary life look like in terms of independence and relationships five years from now? Who are those loving, trusting people that are in freely given a relationship? What does that look like five years from now? Then we think about contribution. How is our loved one contributing back to society, whether that’s paid work or in ordinary places in the community. And then we want to think about home. Home is a challenge for many families, especially when it comes up against the question of affordability. But people with developmental disabilities are told that they can only live in group homes. But that’s not true. I’ve helped families to create an individualized home. So that’s possible for your loved one as well. Then we want to think about supports. So these are all elements to start to get you thinking about the stuff you would have in a life plan.
The life plan will be a living document, but we start by thinking about what an ‘Awesome Ordinary’ life would look like five years from now.
Because if we don’t have a plan, we’re planning to fail.
And if we don’t have a plan, what happens? We fast forward five years, and our loved one hasn’t had the opportunity to grow and live a meaningful life. Life was lived on autopilot. And that life on autopilot for a person with developmental disabilities is a special needs life. So that means day programs and group homes, which leads to a life of exclusion. Not a life of inclusion. And the life that I help families build is a life of inclusion, an ‘Awesome Ordinary’ life.
So building a plan for that awesome, ordinary life is your first step.
To help you get started with this, I’ve got an awesome upcoming workshop called the life plan workshop.
It’s all about starting to create that ‘Awesome Ordinary’ life with your loved one. This workshop will help you get started with that life plan so that you have a plan, moving forward into the future.
So, I encourage you to scroll down, click the link below and register for the life plan workshop.
It’s changed many people’s lives, and it has the power to do the same for you and your loved one. We’d love it if you joined us.
I’m Eric Goll. Together, let’s take a small step forward.