adult child with senior mother

Get answers regarding whether or not to pursue guardianship for a senior parent.

Ideally, all of our interactions with our family members would be positive and helpful. We would handle transitional times smoothly, cooperatively, and with virtually no disagreement. And as our parents continued to age, the process of satisfying their care needs for today and as they change in the future would be seamless.

The reality, however, is that being an adult child to aging parents can be tumultuous. Sometimes, it’s difficult to know when to step up and lend a helping hand versus knowing when to release control as to not step on your parents’ toes. And, there might be times when your time and effort to help are met with opposition – even though you understand that help is necessary for their protection and safety.

A beneficial initial step is to ensure the senior has designated both a medical power of attorney and power of attorney. The family members holding these titles also hold the authority to make health-related and financial decisions on behalf of the aging adult if he or she becomes unable to do so.

However, even though you are the designated power of attorney/medical power of attorney for an older parent, you might want to consider going a step further and petitioning for guardianship. This might be worth exploring if:

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

There’s also the option for limited guardianship for a senior parent, in the event that the older adult is capable of maintaining control in certain facets of life, while other areas are compromised.

Simple tips to File for Guardianship for a Senior Parent

  • First, make an appointment with the aging adult’s doctor to determine if the senior needs guardianship, and complete a form attesting to the senior’s physical and mental 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 obliged 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 an attorney to represent the senior, and a decision will be made to identify what is in his/her best interest.

At Atlanta Home Care Partners, we’re here to help ensure all the needs of your aging parents are met. We offer home care services, including Atlanta dementia help and care in the nearby areas as well. Contact us online or at 404-228-0103 for more information.