It can be difficult to watch the parent who raised you struggling with the ailments of advanced age. From trouble moving around the house to a decline in mental acuity, the consequences of aging can change someone and make them far more dependent on others than they once were at a younger age.

For many children helping their aging parents navigate life, there may eventually come a point where the only choice is to seek a guardianship. The Indiana courts do allow family members and others to request guardianship if an adult demonstrates notable cognitive decline or has medical conditions that lead to mental incapacity, like Alzheimer’s disease.

Guardianship can actually protect your loved one

Many aging adults feel frightened about the loss of their autonomy and independence. They may be so focused on what they view as a violation of their rights and freedoms that they don’t understand that seeking a guardianship is usually done for their benefit.

When older adults can no longer manage their own lives, make their own legal decisions or keep track of all of their personal responsibilities, they could fall behind on their mortgage, forget to pay other bills or make mistakes that could cause them injury or produce significant property damage. Guardianship allows someone else to manage financial, medical and legal decisions on behalf of an adult who can’t make legal decisions for themselves anymore.

As guardian over your parents, you can help ensure that all of their financial and legal obligations get met and that they can maintain as much autonomy as possible. If you don’t take action, they may even truly suffer worse consequences because of fair diminished capacity or other issues.