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What Happens to Special Needs Adults When Parents Die?

Do you know a special needs adult living with elderly parents? Is this person your brother or sister? If so, has your family openly and frequently discussed plans for the special needs adult who may outlive Mom and Dad, and maybe you?
If so, your family is ahead of most.

⦁ Special needs is a term used to describe those who require extra support because of a medical, emotional, behavioral or learning disability or impairment.
⦁ The number of adults with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (I/DD) is projected to nearly double from 641,860 in 2000 to 1.2 million by 2030 1/
⦁ As of 2006, more than 716,00 adults with developmental disabilities were living with caregivers over the age of 60 in the United States.
⦁ Whether it’s medical, financial understanding or living arrangements, Craft LifeStyle Management can help guide families with special needs adults, especially those living with aging parents or those whose parents have deceased. We have years of experience helping families get the resources needed during this transition.

Living with You
You love your sibling with disabilities. In fact, the plan is that he or she will live with you after Mom and Dad die. Have you considered:
⦁ Has your disabled sibling been to your home many times so that he or she is familiar with the surroundings, or do you live in another geographical location?
⦁ How your existing family routine will be altered as you fit in the tasks and responsibilities of care for your disabled sibling? Are you fully aware of what Mom and Dad have been doing all these years to care for your brother or sister? What was their routine? Was it completely transparent and now understood by you?
⦁ What happens to your sibling if you become ill, disabled or lose your life?
⦁ How will care be provided and paid for?
⦁ Who will attend medical appointments and manage the financial and legal aspects of care?

Again, Craft LifeStyle Management can assist you in fully understanding the complexities of what’s involved in caring for your loved one with special needs.
In the meantime, set up a time as soon as possible to talk to your parents so that you are not left without critical information after a crisis.
The smallest details matter while caring for those with special needs.
This link provides an excellent list of questions and conversations so that you and your family are prepared for the well-being of your sister or brother. Record these conversations on paper or a computer file. Let other loved ones know where this information is since you may not be the only one that needs to access it.

Loving Choice
Everyone needs to be realistic about caring for your loved one with special needs. As parents age, they may have ongoing health challenges making it difficult to consistently care for your special needs brother or sister.
Perhaps, now, the most loving thing your family can do is find a group, assisted living or nursing home for your brother or sister.
If this is the decision, please consider transitioning your special needs sibling to this home before a parent dies. It will help ease the transition to a new home environment, which makes for one less loss after death.

Legal Protections & Financial Implications
Craft LifeStyle Management ensures you have formal legal documents and protection in place for caring for your brother or sister. We help you understand the financial implications of this care.
We surround ourselves with highly qualified and trained professionals who specialize in special needs life-care planning.

We will sit side-by-side with you while subjects like this are discussed with you:
⦁ Special Needs or Supplemental Needs Trusts
⦁ Pour-Over Will
⦁ Last-to-Die Life Insurance Policies
⦁ Powers of Attorney for Healthcare and Property
⦁ Power of Attorney for Advocacy
⦁ Medicaid Gifting Powers
⦁ Guardianship Documents
⦁ Letter of Intent or Direction
Please contact Craft LifeStyle Management for assistance with making informed decisions regarding the special needs adults in your life.


  1. Heller T. People with intellectual and developmental disabilities growing old: an overview. Impact. 2010;23(1).
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Tags: #agingcare #specialneedsadults#senior living #aging #specialneedsfamily #specialneeds #disability #specialneedsparent #parents #disabilityawareness