Is it Time To Consider Guardianship of an Elderly Parent?

Learn when to think about petitioning for guardianship of an elderly parent.

In an ideal world, our family relationships would all be positive and helpful. We would manage transitional times cooperatively, smoothly, and with virtually no disagreement. As our parents grew older, it would be a seamless process to fulfill their needs today and their needs in the future.

The reality, however, is that being an adult child to aging parents can be tumultuous. It is not always easy to discern when to step up and help, and when to pull back so as not to step on your parents’ toes. And, there may be situations when your time and effort to help are met with opposition – even though you understand that help is needed for their protection and safety.

A good first step is to ensure the senior has designated both a medical power of attorney and power of attorney. The person or persons entrusted with these roles will have the authority to make health and financial-related decisions on behalf of the senior if he or she were to become incapable of doing so.

Nevertheless, even if you are the designated power of attorney/medical power of attorney for an older parent, you might want to consider going one step further and petitioning for guardianship. Guardianship of an elderly parent is worth exploring if:

  • The older adult’s home or other property needs to be sold
  • Medical intervention is necessary
  • Dementia or other cognitive function limitations are affecting the person’s decision-making ability

Additionally, there is the option for limited guardianship, in the event that the older adult is capable of retaining control in certain facets of life, while other areas are compromised.

How to Apply For Guardianship of an Elderly Parent

  • First, schedule an appointment with the older adult’s doctor, who will need to determine whether guardianship is necessary and complete a form attesting to the older adult’s mental and physical functioning.
  • You can then file for guardianship at a probate court. The court will run a criminal background check, assess your monetary responsibilities, and explore whether there are any conflicts of interest.
  • You are then legally bound to notify both the older adult and family members (as specified in the estate code) of your intent to obtain guardianship.
  • Lastly, the court will designate a lawyer to represent the older adult, and a decision will be made to determine what is in his/her best interest.

At Responsive Home Care, we are here to help ensure all the needs of your aging parents are met. Call us at (954) 486-6440 to find out more about how a home health aide in Hollywood, FL or the surrounding areas from Responsive Home Care can change the life of a senior you love.