There may come a time when adult children have to make the decision that their elderly parent needs extra care. Giving elderly people with Alzheimer’s or other dementia-related illnesses in Massachusetts the care they need may include becoming a guardian for a parent. But guardianships can be confusing, so it might help to know a little about how to go about getting one to be able to make decisions for a parent or loved one who can no longer do so.
There are various reasons for a guardianship. For someone with dementia, it can mean:
- The person won’t be exploited financially.
- The person will be living safely and with dignity.
- The person will be able to get proper and necessary health care.
- The person will have a caregiver for the long term.
In order to become a guardian for a person with dementia, the person seeking the guardianship must show the person is incapacitated, and that is usually ascertained by a court psychologist or a physician prior to any hearing that takes place. The one seeking guardianship also has to show he or she would be an appropriate person for the guardianship. He or she must have a plan for care and also a plan on how finances will be used.
Massachusetts residents who are looking to legally take care of a loved one with dementia might find it helpful to speak with an attorney experienced in guardianships. The court will look at the actions of a potential guardian, so seeking legal advice prior to making an application may be wise. Guardianship may be the only solution when a person with advanced dementia refuses help.