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When should you file for guardianship of an elder?

| Jun 8, 2021 | Guardianship |

While you may want to encourage and support your parents’ wishes to remain independent, questionable decisions or conduct may have you feeling concerned. As your parents age, deterioration of their health may impact their ability to make coherent and responsible choices.

You have a few options to consider in regards to facilitating the decision-making process including the establishment of a power of attorney or a special needs trust. Knowing under what conditions to petition for guardianship can help you to protect your parent’s well-being.

Incapacitation

Even though your parents may feel that they can still make their own decisions, their health may interfere with their ability to make effective choices about their future. According to the Washington Department of Social and Health Services, signs of incapacitation may include the following:

  • Your parents cannot effectively care for personal needs
  • Your parents can no longer manage financial affairs
  • Your parents inadvertently compromise their safety

Stubbornness

Another reason you may want to petition for guardianship of your parents is if they refuse to do things that will protect them from harm. For many aging adults, the loss of independence is one of the most challenging fates to accept. Your parents may refuse to participate in certain things simply because they do not want to.

For example, if you need regular and reliable help caring for your parents you may consider a nursing home facility. If your parents refuse to go to a nursing home, you may need to petition for guardianship of them so you can legally facilitate the move. Because obtaining guardianship is often a sensitive topic, approach conversations with genuine concern. Highlight how your participation in making critical decisions can improve their safety and well-being so they can continue to live fulfilling lives.

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