After a certain point, aging leads to bodily and cognitive deterioration. Arthritis can make it difficult to get around. Cognitive issues such as difficulty remembering things, frequent bouts of confusion and even changes in personality can also present challenges both for older adults and the people trying to care for them.
If your parent or other aging loved one no longer seems to be able to take care of themselves, it may be time to consider seeking a guardianship so that they don’t unintentionally cause harm to themselves or others.
Cognitive losses could mean not understanding consequences
Confusion and memory issues can make it hard for older adults to manage their own affairs and make good decisions. Your mother might have forgotten to pay her rent or to get fresh groceries, leading to her accidentally trying to drink spoiled milk or facing eviction. Your aging grandfather might think that he can still safely drive even though he has signs of early dementia.
Older adults aren’t always willing to give up their independence even when they can no longer fully take care of themselves. You may need to step in if your loved one is making decisions that endanger themselves or someone else or if they simply can’t handle the requirements of independent living.
A guardianship is a form of legal protection
When you go to the courts to request a guardianship, what you are asking is to assume the same kind of authority that a parent has over a child. You can take control over their finances to make sure that their bills get paid. You might make medical decisions on their behalf because they aren’t engaged in their own treatments as they should be. You may even have to decide where they live and whether or not they get to renew their driver’s license.
Securing a guardianship requires presenting evidence to the court and being in position to assume the necessary responsibilities. While it may require some effort, a guardianship can ultimately offer a lot of protection to your loved one as they age.