Watching a parent grow older can prove immensely difficult, especially if your parent also experiences a breakdown in his or her physical or mental capacity. At some point, many older adults reach a point where they can no longer reasonably make sound decisions on their own. This may lead you or another loved one to suggest establishing guardianship over the individual in question.
A guardianship, which you can establish through a court proceeding, gives someone the right to make key decisions on someone else’s behalf. Common in situations where dementia or Alzheimer’s disease become issues, guardianships essentially give the guardian decision-making power over an older adult in a manner similar to the way a parent may make decisions on behalf of a child. Certain situations may arise in an older adult’s life that may signify it is the right time to establish a guardianship. Just what types of situations could give cause to establishing a guardianship?
When mom or dad refuses to sign a power of attorney
No one wants to admit they have reached a point where they can no longer manage their own affairs. For this reason, many older adults are reluctant to sign powers of attorney that diminish some of the control they have over their own lives. If your parent refuses to sign a power of attorney, but he or she makes careless decisions with regard to his or her life, it may be time to step in and secure a guardian.
When mom or dad refuses to enter a nursing home
While it can be difficult for an older person to relinquish some control over his or her life, it can prove equally difficult to convince a senior to enter a nursing home when the time comes. If your parent refuses to enter a residential facility, but you know this to be his or her best or only option, you will typically need to establish a guardianship to get your parent to go.
In some situations, establishing guardianship over one of your parents may prove to be your best option. These are two such scenarios that may warrant you initiating the process.