Everyone gets older, but when you start to notice your mom and dad aging, it can feel more personal. One mental health concern that many older adults face is memory loss in the form of dementia. Hopefully, your parents had been willing to plan ahead through the preparation of Powers of Attorney.
While dementia can present numerous challenges to all family members involved, establishing a legal guardianship may be necessary to help with decisions. If you need to consider this route for one of your parents, here are three things you should know.
1. Establishing a guardianship can take time
If you are thinking about guardianship over a parent with dementia to help manage life necessities, keep in mind that the process can take time. Working with a legal professional is required to prepare the petition to appoint a guardian and for the court hearing.
2. Guardianships cover health and financial decisions
Guardianships can serve a few different purposes, but two of the biggest reasons that adult children seek guardianship over a parent is to make health and financial decisions on his or her behalf. As dementia progresses, the memory suffers. As such, guardianship can serve as a form of legal protection over the wellbeing of your mom or dad’s future health care or finances.
3. Guardianships also cover day-to-day decisions
In addition, establishing guardianship will give you the ability to make day-to-day decisions about your parent’s care. For example, shelter and daily care may be needed, either at home with help or in a personal care home or nursing home. Having guardianship will grant you the legal right to do that when your parent cannot make appropriate decisions for themselves.
Although dementia can present many challenges, there are legal resources available to make the journey easier.