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I think she needs one as her situation is complicated and she makes awful decisions all the time. I am only 21 and I think it would be detrimental to my health to be her guardian because I don't even know how to make my life good anymore. I've focused on her for months. I can guarantee no family will want to help either. So what do I do? How many times does she need to end up in the hospital before DSS steps in?

AJ, why are you asking about a guardian for only your Mom? It sounds like your Dad could use a guardian as well. Are either of them competent enough (even when they have been drinking) to be able to make their own decisions? If they can make basic day-to-day decisions, then the court may decide NOT to appoint a guardian to either of them. Who pays their bills? I know that you live several hours away from them--do you pay their bills and for their groceries and medications? Do they still drive?

I went to the South Dakota Guardianship website and it talked about the Department of Human Services and adults with Developmental Disabilities: http://sdlegislature.gov/Statutes/Codified_Laws/DisplayStatute.aspx?Type=Statute&Statute=29A-5-302

I did find the South Dakota Department of Human Services website for “Long Term Services and Supports”: https://dhs.sd.gov/ltss/default.aspx .
If you click on “Long Term Services and Supports Field Offices”, you can download a Word Document that list the addresses of the Long Term Services and Supports Specialists (who provide information and referral services, assistance to access in-home and community-based services, needs assessments, ongoing case management, care plan development and adult protective services to individuals living in South Dakota communities).

The South Dakota Judicial Unified System website for Guardianship and Conservatorship Forms: http://ujs.sd.gov/Forms/guardianship.aspx.

This website has information about Legal Services for Older Individuals: https://dhs.sd.gov/ltss/legal.aspx
{ Long Term Services and Supports contracts with two legal service programs, East River Legal Services and Dakota Plains Legal Services, to provide legal assistance to eligible individuals. Each legal service program has its own policy regarding the types of cases accepted.}

You might want to contact the “Long Term Services and Supports Field Offices” and ask them your questions about guardianship. If you need legal advice about guardianship, I think that the "Legal Services for Older Individuals" website might be the place to start: https://dhs.sd.gov/ltss/legal.aspx.

I hope that this information helps you and your parents. Your parents are very lucky people to have such a loving and caring daughter who is willing to look after her parents at such a young age. Take care of yourself also. If you have any more questions, please feel free to ask.
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Adult Protective Services will only check on Mom if they are called. Does she have powers of attorney in place? APS will take guardianship if the situation is not manageable and mom is incapacitated. But, if she is competent she has the right to make her own bad decisions.
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Reply to gladimhere
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