How Do You Know When Your Parent Needs a Guardian?
For most people, it’s difficult to face the possibility that an elderly parent needs supervision and care. As children, our parents seem invincible. Seeing them in a vulnerable state can be an emotional and overwhelming experience. The decision to pursue a guardianship and/or conservatorship over an ailing or elderly parent is understandably difficult.
When an individual is unable to look after his own personal and financial needs, the law allows a substitute decision maker to act on the person’s behalf. Frequently, guardians and conservators are appointed to oversee the physical and financial well-being of elderly individuals. In many cases, an adult child must pursue guardianship and conservatorship over an aging parent. If you and your loved ones are facing this decision, you may wonder how you know when a guardianship and conservatorship is necessary. Here are a few factors to consider:
Your Parent’s Psychological Health
According to the National Institutes of Health, about 3.4 million Americans – or one in seven people – suffer from a form of dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease. In many cases, dementia causes the parent and child to reverse roles, with the adult taking on more of a caregiver role toward the parent. In these cases, a guardianship is often necessary to ensure the child has the authority and resources to obtain appropriate care for the parent.
Your Parent’s Physical Health
Serious health problems can make life difficult for seniors. If your parent has mobility issues or debilitating health problems, a guardianship may be appropriate. Consider the prognosis for the condition and whether it is likely to cause your parent’s health to deteriorate as he or she ages.
Your Parent’s Daily Needs
Observe your parent’s daily routine to get an idea of whether he or she is capable of managing it without assistance. Is your parent able to conduct routine grooming, such as bathing, dressing, and bathroom activities? Also consider whether your parent is able to safely conduct errands such as driving to doctors’ appointments, buying groceries, and performing normal housework. In some cases, a parent may simply need assistance or a part-time helper around the house. In other situations, it’s necessary to establish a guardianship and conservatorship.
Minnesota Estate Planning and Probate Law Firm
If you believe your parent needs a guardian and conservator, it’s best to act quickly. Delaying the guardianship process can be dangerous if your loved one is incapable of looking after his or her own health and finances. Call the Minnesota probate and estate planning attorneys at Jeffrey P. Scott & Associates, LLC today our office today to learn more and to discuss your options.
This website has been prepared by Jeffrey P. Scott & Associates, LLC for informational purposes only and does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice. The information is not provided in the course of an attorney-client relationship and is not intended to substitute for legal advice from an attorney licensed in your jurisdiction.