I am anxious about what my responsibilities will be with guardianship and what I'll be liable for. Any advice?

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Mom's Dr.office told me to get guardianship of her since her dementia may be increasing as well as some confusion. We know she will be very stubborn and difficult about going to assisted living. I know that she will be so angry with me. I am nervous. She is 72 and started this spiral some years ago. Recently gotten worse. How do I stay strong?

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It really doesn't sound like you have the energy or time to take on another guardianship.

Does her doctor agree that she is safe to drive?

I wonder if it would be wise at this point to involve Adult Protection Services. They can evaluate her living conditions.

Bless you for looking after your sister. It just sounds way too much to be expected to take on responsibility for your mother as well.
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Yes, I agree. This is too overwhelming. Currently, I am also guardian of my youngest sister (guardian of person, not money), she is disabled and my mom had no interest. Mom lives 30 miles away and won't move since she wants to be near her church. However, she hardly takes the dog out, so there are feces, etc... throughout the house. She really can't take care of anything. She can drive locally.
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The doctor's office is not a source of legal advice. Gaining guardianship is a big legal step, and should not be undertaken without qualified legal advice. I suggest you start with a consultation with an elder law attorney.
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You will have to have doctor be willing to put his assessment and prognosis in writing stating mom is not competent to manage affairs. If you have DPOA then you don't need guardianship. See also legal tab at top of this site.

You say mom is resident. Others are right, if she has dementia but is just resistant and likely to fight you, this could lead to more drama and trauma in court where they will,order dr evaluation, APS investigation...and everything else to see if she can mange with just some in home care or oversight, etc....not necessarily placement. It's thousands of dollars on your part to gain guardianship.

Drs need to give you support on getting her placed or setting up appropriate care if that is in her best interest; I've been thru this and even though my mom had diagnosis from 3 drs including geriatric psychiatrist and neurologist and was visited by APS, no one would commit to written statements to help me invoke POA. So mom lives independently still and manages but barely. She refuses all services and assistance. I was advised many times that she has rights as an adult even if not healthy choice unless she is in imminent danger to herself or others.

Good luck. But start with pressing the doctor for written documentation, then consult with an elder law attorney to under your options and the legal process and potential costs involved.
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As long as she has not been ruled to be incompetent, she may still be able to sign you as Durable Power of Attorney. This gives you the power to act on her behalf even after she becomes incompetent. You can handle most matters for her with that document. That document works fine, except that she could denounce it or change it, but it's simple and quick and you could get it done immediately.

However, the guardianship is something that has to go to court and have the court rule that she is incompetent and then appoint someone as her guardian. That is involved, takes time and could require legal fees. Plus, you have to prove that she's incompetent to handle her affairs or medical care, not just that she's getting dementia.

If you lose, there may be some hurt feelings. And if you win, being guardian is a huge responsibility. With a dementia patient, it can take over your life. Even if the person is in a Memory Care facility or nursing home, your time and attention is based around them most of the time. There are usually medical issues, mental issues and financial issues all the time. Just read this site to see what I mean. It can be VERY overwhelming. I would think long and hard before I did it. I know she's your mom, but I would try to get some help. It's a full time job, even with help.

I would consult with an Elder law attorney in your area to see what the range of options are and what they cost. Good luck.
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Has her doctor told you that he has diagnosed your mother as incompetent to handle her affairs in a business like manner? I ask this because just having dementia and some confusion is not enough to be able to get guardianship for her. That is going to involve going to court and cost several thousands of dollars.

Guardianship will give you full authority for her medical care and for her finances which will require regular reporting and good record keeping.

Are you her only child or do you have some siblings who could help you with this?

Does anyone have durable and/or medical POA for your mother right now?

You stay strong by reminding yourself that you are doing what needs to be done for your mother's safety and care.
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