It’s really hard to watch a parent age. The person who once guided and protected you from harm may suddenly be unable to navigate this world without some help.
How do you know it’s time to step in and ask the court for guardianship so that you can ensure your parent’s well-being and protect their interests? Here are some signs:
1. They’ve experienced a cognitive decline
It’s one thing for your parent to occasionally forget where they put the car keys or repeat themselves – it’s entirely another when they’ve developed a significant cognitive decline due to dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, strokes or another kind of brain injury. If your parent suffers from memory loss, confusion or trouble making any decisions, it’s probably time for someone to take over.
2. They’re neglecting their basic needs
Some seniors are actually fairly adept at hiding their memory or cognitive problems – but it may still show through a decline in their ability to see to their own personal needs. If your parent seems malnourished, has developed poor hygiene or their living environment has become disordered and unclean, that’s a big red flag.
3. They’ve made questionable financial decisions
Whether they’re sending all of their money to missionaries overseas and leaving their own bills unpaid or money is simply missing from their accounts with no clear explanation, you have cause for concern. Seniors who experience cognitive declines are prime targets for scam artists and confidence schemes (and they may even be targeted by caregivers, friends and family).
If you’re determined to protect your parent during their final years, guardianship can give you the ability. Learning more about your options can help you decide how to respond to a crisis situation like this.