Special Needs Planning – Part 5: Step 5 – Document the Wonder

Stages 1 through 4 of the 8 Stage Future Care Plan process are now behind you … which means it is time to catch your breath and jump into Stage 5 – Documenting the Wonder. While previous stages have involved a lot of number crunching and wading through legal issues, this stage gives you the opportunity to write your loved one’s unique story to share with others, both now and in the future. While this stage will require the same time and effort as the previous four stages, you will find this stage to be a very rewarding one to complete.

In Stage 5, you will have the opportunity to construct a narrative detailing every aspect of your loved one’s life, including their unique talents and abilities. This chronicle will serve as a roadmap for everyone involved in your family member’s future care, giving them the necessary tools to encourage and foster all of your loved one’s abilities and, more importantly, continually build their self-esteem. Attention to detail in your documentation is key in this stage to ensure that wishes are fully realized throughout the individual’s lifetime.

As you begin to think about all of the aspects of your family member’s life, you may start to feel overwhelmed. Where do you start? What if you forget important considerations? The “Document the Wonder” section of Protected Tomorrow’s online planning system will help you organize this task and ensure that no important piece of information is overlooked. The Table of Contents provides you with a checklist of all of the areas that should be considered as you write your family member’s story. The online system allows you to work with one topic at a time, keeping you on task and focused. As you move through each specific section, your story will begin to unfold as an organized, easy-to-follow narrative.

This comprehensive checklist allows you to document every imaginable topic from family traditions to insurance information. Here, you can specifically spell out each and every nuance of your family member’s day-to-day life, as well as address complex topics such as guardianship and government benefits so that there will be no questions or ambiguity for caregivers to deal with in the future.

Perhaps the most important aspect of preparing this story is that it is a fluid document that is accessible to anyone to whom you wish to give access. As things change in the life of your family member, so can the story. Updating the information is easy and everyone will always have the most up-to-date information at their fingertips.

As you continue to work through the 8 Stages of the Future Care Plan, always remember that the Protected Tomorrows team is no farther than a phone call or email away and are eager to answer your questions and help you through each stage of the process.