Establishing Guardianship for Elders with Alzheimer’s

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Caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s can be challenging. He or she may have difficulty interacting with others and may require special care from an in-home nurse or physician. According to Alzheimers.org, 1 in every 6 people over 80 have dementia, and many of them also have Alzheimer’s disease. Making decisions for an Alzheimer’s patient can be frustrating if the patient cannot express their wishes and concerns. It may be beneficial to families with an elder who has Alzheimer’s to establish guardianship of him or her. This can assist in ensuring their loved one’s needs are met.

The Authority of Guardians
Guardianship for an elderly patient with Alzheimer’s is very similar to a parent’s guardianship over a minor child. Guardianship allows for signatures on behalf of their loved one on medical forms and other important documents. This ensures that:

  • The patient is placed in a safe living situation
  • They will not be exploited financially
  • They will receive any necessary long-term caretaking
  • They will receive any short-term medical procedures

Obtaining Guardianship of a Senior with Alzheimer’s
For a person to obtain guardianship over an adult, he or she will need to establish in court that the individual with Alzheimer’s disease is incapacitated. Additionally, they must prove that they will be suitable guardians. Typically, a psychologist or other physician will evaluate the individual and determine capacity before the hearing. During the proceeding, additional evidence may be provided.

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