Being a parent of a child with special needs can be a challenging and rewarding experience. Parents often face unique challenges, ranging from navigating the therapies, school, education and healthcare system to managing their child’s daily care needs. While there are many joys associated with raising a child with special needs, there is also a persistent fear that haunts many parents: what will happen to their child after they are gone?
This thought can be overwhelming and anxiety-inducing for many parents. The fear of not being there to care for their child can be all-consuming, leading to feelings of guilt, stress, and despair. But there are certain steps that parents can take to ease their anxiety and ensure that their child will be well taken care of in the future.
As a parent or family member of a child with special needs, ensuring their future security is always a top priority. This can be a daunting task, but with careful planning and preparation, it can be achieved.
In my today’s blog, I will discuss some of the essential steps that can help secure the future of your special needs child to some extent.
Let’s discuss them one by one.
1. Plan for the future for the long-term:
One of the most important steps that parents can take is to plan for the future. Parents of children with special needs must plan for their child’s future in the long term. This means creating a comprehensive plan that outlines the child’s future care needs, including medical care, housing, and financial support. Parents can create a plan that meets their child’s specific needs and ensures that their child will be well cared for after they are gone. Creating a comprehensive plan with a financial advisor, an attorney, and a social worker or a case manager can help ensure all aspects of the child’s future are taken into account.
2. Establish a special needs trust:
A special needs trust is a legal instrument that provides funds to meet the needs of a special needs child after the parents’ death. The funds in a special needs trust do not count as assets of the child, which means that the child can continue to receive government benefits, such as Medicaid and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). Parents can set up a special needs trust with the help of an attorney.
3. Make a will:
Creating a will is an essential step in securing the future of a special needs child. A will outlines how a person’s assets will be distributed after their death. For parents of special needs children, a will can ensure that their child’s financial future is protected. In the will, parents can designate a guardian for their child and provide instructions for their care and well-being.
4. Get a life insurance:
Life insurance is an essential tool for parents of special needs children. It can provide financial support for the child in the event of the parents’ death. Parents should work with a financial advisor to determine the appropriate amount of coverage needed to ensure their child’s financial security.
5. Explore other government benefits:
Government benefits, such as Medicaid and SSI, can provide valuable support for special needs children. These programs can provide financial assistance, healthcare coverage, and other support services. Parents should work with a social worker or case manager to explore the government benefits available to their child.
6. Develop a care plan:
Parents of special needs children should create a care plan that outlines their child’s needs, preferences, and routines. This plan can help ensure that their child’s needs are met, even if the parents are no longer able to provide care. The care plan should include information about the child’s medical history, medications, and daily routines.
7. Build a strong support network:
Another important step is to build a strong support network. Building a support network is critical for parents of special needs children. This network can include family members, friends, healthcare providers, community organizations, and other professionals that can provide assistance and support to the child and their caregiver. Parents can also explore support groups and online communities like www.specialsaathi.com to connect with other parents in similar situations and share information and resources.
8. Making the child independent and self-aware
It’s also important for parents to educate their child about their disability and how to manage their own care needs. This includes teaching the child important life skills, such as how to manage their finances, communicate their needs, and advocate for themselves. Parents can also work with their child’s school or community organizations to ensure that their child has access to the resources and support they need to succeed.
Finally, parents can take comfort in the fact that there are many resources available to help families of children with special needs. From government programs to private foundations, there are many organizations that provide financial and other support to families in need. By staying informed and connected to these resources, parents can ensure that their child will be well taken care of in the future.
Yes, the fear of what will happen to a child with special needs after their parents are gone is a common and understandable concern. However, by taking proactive steps to plan for the future, build a support network, educate their child, and stay informed about available resources, parents can ease their anxiety and ensure that their child will be well cared for in the years to come.
So, here concluding my blog, by emphasizing that securing the future of a special needs child requires careful planning and preparation. Parents should work with financial advisors, attorneys, or a social worker to create a comprehensive plan that addresses their child’s financial, healthcare, and living needs. By taking these essential steps, parents can ensure that their special needs child will have a secure and fulfilling future.
Author Shilpi Mayank Awasthi
Featured artwork for this blog is done by CreativeSaathi Gomathi Shankar