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Thinking of obtaining guardianship for my mom. She is in a nursing home. Wondering what the drawbacks could be to that? Will the doctors leave her out of conversation about her medical care? Will the nurses ignore some of my mom's requests? Such as occasionally letting her sleep in if she requests? What would they do if my mom refused a medication? If some meds are scheduled PRN, and my mom requests a pain pill, will they refuse her because someone has guardianship over her (she was deemed incompetent).

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Is this because she doesn't have a POA? There shouldn't be any drawbacks if this is the only reason. It's expensive, so be sure that there isn't another way. I never had to do this, so read the opinion of others before you decide. You would need to check with an elder law attorney, too.
Take care,
Carol
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I am currently applying and going to court for guardianship of my mother because she never gave anybody POA. She has Alzheimer's and will get steadily worse and somebody needs to be able to take care of her. POA is so much easier if there is still time for you to get that and a lot cheaper
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I think your fears are largely unfounded. Her medical caregivers will continue treating her as her condition warrants. It's not like they have to check with her legal guardian for every little thing. But you will become responsible for end of life and DNR decisions in the event she has not put this to paper in the past.

Guardianship would help you take care of her affairs. It can be a hassle to get but it certainly is nothing to be afraid of.
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If you are her DPOA and her financial POA you should be covered and not need the expensive and time consuming path to gardianship. Having the two documents mentioned give you the power over medical and financial matters. If you decide to go for guardinship please share your exp it would be helpful to others to know the steps you took.
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Once guardianship is established, the person's wishes no longer have to be considered as the guardian essentially stands in for the person, decision-wise. But, as others have said, if you are her Power of Attorney for financial and medical decisions, you already can make decisions for her. Seeking guardianship is very expensive as you have to have her declared incapacitated and that involves going before a judge and you need an attorney. Only do that if your mom is too demented to sign over Power of Attorney to you. But, even with a guardian it doesn't mean your mom's voice won't be heard at the facility. They may just check in with the guardian before they do what she asks. If you are seeking an independent guardian, one word - DON'T. We had one and I ended up writing an entire book about the devastation of the whole thing. (Tales From The Family Crypt is on Amazon. It's a cautionary tale.)
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I am G/C for my mother. We had POA and DPOA for healthcare, but Mom was fighting every decision. She was refusing AL placement, refusing to move from her condo, developing wild financial plans she wanted to control (a remodel of her condo, a trip to Italy, a new Lexus) and things got bad enough that we had to have that extra power to control where she lived and control her use of assets.
The disadvantages of guardianship are several. The process requires a petition to the court filed by an attorney, back up documentation from doctors, may involve a full neuropsych exam, may be contested, and in the end a scheduled hearing in probate court has to be scheduled and attended with the ward and potential guardian. The cost of this is I think at least $4-5,000. It can be more when there is family infighting or the ward fights. In the end all legal bills are paid back by the ward. There is annual reporting required to the state, and if you are conservator there will be a bond required which costs money every year (to give you an idea, $200,000 in assets requires an annual bond fee of $1000.
One thing it does not do is take away the wards ability to speak for themselves, and you are supposed to take their needs and wants into consideration in all your decisions, so your mom would not lose the ability to choose the things you mention, although they may phone to ask about it more often.
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Who deemed her incompetent? The doctor? Is there no one designated - on paper - right now to make healthcare and financial decisions for her? If she can coherently express to legal council that she wants you to be her Power of Attorney and that she wants you to make all of her medical and financial decisions - then go this route. The biggest hang-up to guardianship is the court costs. Another reason why people may seek guardianship is that the POA is not doing a good job or is taking advantage of the person, etc. If no one is on file to make these decisions - she's considered FULL CODE. Do you know this means? The doctors will do everything necessary to save her life - even if their intervention may be leave her in absolute physical misery. What if she gets cancer? She doesn't have to have treatment if she has so many other declining health issues - but the paperwork will need to be in place before this event so you can discuss with the doctor what is best for your mother's quality of life and you can ultimately decide not to do the cancer treatment - otherwise doctors will begin cancer treatment. You need to meet with an elder attorney to discuss your situation. It's great that you're seeking advice here on the AC community but your state may have a different set of rules versus where I live in.
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I have medical & financial POA for my mom. She gave me permission and signed for me while she was still able. Guardianship seems to be for when the person is incompetent & has not given permission and is harder to get I believe because a dr. has to deem the person incompetent first. POA has allowed me to do everything needed to handle her medical and financial affairs including selling her house.
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cothrangirl3 - yes, I do have medical and financial POA for my mom.
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I did not have POA for my wife who has Alzheimer's. We moved to CO to unite the family (2 married daughters). I could not sell our condo in NJ or obtain a mortgage in CO using joint assets. I found a good elder attorney and she handled all aspects of the petition for G&C for $3,500. She also filed a waiver so my wife did not have to appear at the hearing. Everything went smoothly and took under 2 months. There was no bond requirement here. The main drawback is you need to keep detailed records and file guardian and conservator reports annually. You may also need to maintain separate accounts, ours are inextricably intertwined! Hopefully this won't be a problem.
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