Watching your parents age can bring bittersweet moments and feelings of concern about their well-being. When their health reaches a point where you feel worried about their ability to safely care for themselves, you may consider acting as a guardian for them.
The role of a guardian requires patience, compassion and integrity. You will also benefit from having organizational skills and the ability to communicate effectively.
Identifying a need
Prior to your parents’ decline, you may consider discussing their wishes to determine that you can sufficiently meet their needs when the time comes to hire help. Prematurely appointing a guardian for your parents could cause emotional turmoil and put a strain on your relationships. Knowing when your parents have reached a point where they could benefit from guidance can help you make a confident decision on their behalf.
Circumstances under which you may consider petitioning for guardianship of your parents may include their incapacity to make competent financial decisions or their refusal to move to a care facility. Any situation where you feel that your parents declining health will endanger their well-being is one when you may want to seek guardianship.
Responding with empathy
Accepting that you will take over primary care responsibilities can be difficult for your parents. Recognizing their decline in independence and allowing time for grief to run its course will require you to show extra compassion and unconditional love. According to aginginplace.org, empathy is one of the most important qualities of an effective caretaker.
Your ability to empathize with your parents and provide resounding support and encouragement can help them adjust to their new normal. With a legal guardianship in place, you can help your parents continue to enjoy their life.