Filing for guardianship over a parent is a serious matter. In most cases, a court will not appoint a guardian unless the person is mentally incapacitated in some way that places them in danger. For example, if mom is spending all of her money on scams and there doesn’t seem to be any way to stop her, you might then consider a guardianship. If dad is found wandering around in town and placed in the psychiatric ward of your local hospital, you may need to file for guardianship.
Aside from these types of threats, there is not usually a reason to file for guardianship of an elderly loved one. It is not appropriate to go to court to be appointed as someone’s guardian or the conservator over their estate simply because they are not doing what you want them to do.
If mom wants to remain at home instead of move in with you, this doesn’t necessarily mean that she needs a guardian, unless remaining at home would put her in danger. If mom simply has a little trouble getting around the house, this can be remedied with some remodeling, but if she is doing things such as putting food on the stove to cook and then going out shopping, this is different.
It can be difficult to get a judge to appoint someone as guardian over an elderly person due to the fact that this will literally take away that person’s rights and independence. If the person in question can still reason and communicate sufficiently, there often is no reason to place that person under the guardianship of another.
If you believe that your elderly loved one can no longer care for themselves or make decisions on their own, then you will want to contact an attorney experienced in Elder Law to determine if it would be appropriate to file for guardianship of that person. Keep in mind, that even if that person has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and will likely need a guardian at some point, the court will not appoint a guardian until that need is immediate.
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