CAREGIVERS

We often hear people say “I promised her I’d never put her in a nursing home.” or “Dad told me he never wanted to live in one of those places.”

For a variety of reasons, caregivers may choose to care for their older adult at home. And as long as the situation is safe for everyone involved, keeping aging parents at home is a wonderful thing to do. But it’s important to remember that senior care is one of the toughest and most stressful jobs you’ll ever have.

With the proper support, planning, and patience, providing care for your parents in their golden years can be a less stressful and a more rewarding experience.

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GUARDIANSHIP FOR ELDERLY PARENTS

If the person you are caring for is unable to make rational, clear-headed decisions about their health care, finances, or other aspects of life, seeking legal guardianship may be necessary to ensure their safety and quality of life.

Guardianship is an option in cases where an older adult has not appointed a power of attorney for health care or finances and is incapacitated due to advancing age, illness or disability. Even if an individual has named a power of attorney (POA), guardianship may still be necessary if their POA is not durable, meaning it ends upon their incapacitation. We most commonly see family caregivers seeking guardianship for adults with dementia who did not make proper legal preparations for the future.

To act as someone’s legal guardian or conservator, the individual petitioning for guardianship must go to court to have the person they are caring for declared incompetent based on expert findings. If they are ruled incompetent and the petitioner is a suitable caregiver, then the court transfers the responsibility for managing finances, living arrangements, medical decisions, or any combination of these tasks to the petitioner.

This process often takes a good deal of experience to navigate smoothly. If family members disagree about the need for guardianship or who should act as a guardian, the process can be especially painful, prolonged, and costly. That's why an elder law attorney is often required in these situations. Reach out below to find out more.