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Why families may decide to seek guardianship of an adult

On Behalf of | Jun 23, 2024 | Uncategorized |

Most people are quite protective of their personal independence. They want to control what they do and when. Even those who struggle to make the best choices for themselves may not want to give up any personal authority. Therefore, the choice to pursue a guardianship for the protection of an older adult could potentially anger that individual. Most families do not seek out guardianship unless they seem absolutely necessary.

Successfully obtaining a guardianship can allow family members to provide crucial support for a vulnerable older adult. They can pay someone’s bills, make medical appointments on their behalf and otherwise ensure the fulfillment of their basic daily needs.

Why might families decide to risk angering an older adult by seeking a guardianship in the New York courts?

Concern about finances

Money management can be difficult even during the prime of one’s life. For those struggling with cognitive decline, managing household finances can become prohibitively difficult. People may forget to pay bills, putting them at risk of eviction and lawsuits. They could also improperly manage their resources, possibly giving away assets that they need for their own stability due to pressure from outside parties. When families realize that older adults have begun to struggle with the management of their finances, they may decide to intervene to protect that person.

Failure to seek proper treatment

Many older adults experiencing cognitive decline and similar issues have at least a cursory awareness of their changing health. They may even be aware of the possibility that doctors could diagnose them with something like Alzheimer’s disease. The desire to remain independent and to avoid nursing home care often leads to older adults failing to get medical care when they need it the most.

If family members realize that someone has stopped seeking necessary medical care, repeatedly canceled appointments or failed to get treatment for a slowly worsening condition, they may seek guardianship is a way to influence someone’s medical treatment. A guardian can make appointments, take someone to those appointments and even make decisions about what treatment they undergo.

If an older adult has proven incapable of operating in their own best interests, family members may intervene. Doing so can allow them to ensure that an aging family member receives the care and support they deserve. Typically, securing a guardianship requires compelling evidence that someone has begun struggling to manage their own affairs.

Financial records, medical documents and even testimony from others could convince the New York courts that guardianship is the best option for a vulnerable aging adult. Sometimes, younger people with congenital issues, acquired injuries or mental health disorders may also require the assistance of guardianship. Recognizing when it may be time to seek authority for the protection of a loved one can benefit those concerned about a vulnerable adult.