Age Gracefully With A Plan In Place

2 signs you may need to appoint a guardian for your aging parent

On Behalf of | Mar 3, 2023 | Guardianships |

As your parents get older, you might notice that they are losing the ability to think clearly, make rational and informed decisions and even care for themselves. Perhaps they are developing a degenerative condition like dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, have recently had a stroke or are experiencing mobility challenges.

If a loved one is no longer able to make meaningful decisions regarding their health, finances and other important aspects on their own, then you may consider designating legal guardianship for them.

Understanding guardianship for aging individuals

Legal guardianship, also known as conservatorship, is an option when a loved one has not designed a power of attorney (especially a non-durable POA) in their estate plan. Typically, a legal guardian’s duties include the following:

  • Making healthcare and financial decisions for the ward
  • Determining where the ward will live
  • Arranging home care (meals and medicine deliveries and administration) if the ward is living at home

How do you know if it is time to secure a guardian for your aging parent?

The decision to designate a guardian for your aging parent is one that you should take seriously. Here are two tell-tale signs you may need to consider getting a legal guardian for your loved one:

Your loved one’s medical needs are becoming extensive

While designating their healthcare power of attorney, your parent might appoint you to act as their healthcare proxy. You may find yourself taking them to their doctor appointments and administering medications like supplements and antipsychotic medications. However, if their health continues to deteriorate and their healthcare needs become more complex, you may need to get someone who is better placed to take care of their situation than yourself.

Your loved one does not want to move to a nursing home

If your loved one’s health is deteriorating and they are adamant about not moving to a nursing home, it may make sense to get them a legal guardian who will take responsibility for their health and financial needs.

Choosing the right guardian for your loved one

When your loved one’s condition begins to deteriorate, it may become necessary to appoint a legal guardian who will help them handle their affairs. You can seek legal guidance to better understand your options in this situation.