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We started the guardianship/conservatorship process in April-May for my 92 year old father who has dementia. It is now August and it still isn't done. We ended up keeping it out of court to avoid undue stress on my father (he's contesting) and were able to work something out between us and the attorneys. There are provisions for things that he wanted and in order for him to accept the guardianship, it had to be done that way. As time has drug on, he actually seems to be better than he was when we started this. He has accepted care coming into his home (still lives on his own and this was a BIG step for him) and his medications have been stepped up. He has made it very clear that he will still be in charge of paying bills after this goes through (I write the checks, he signs them - he will continue to have his own checking account) even though I will have a pool of money to draw on. He will not make a selection for a medical alert pendant and has made it clear HE and HE only will make the decision on what to get but since he's not good at making decisions anymore, that will never happen unless I intervene.


If he finds out I am spending his money behind his back for things for him without him knowing, that will send him over the top (I would like to improve the quality of food he eats, purchase needed compression stockings, etc. He won't spend the money. I tread on eggshells). How does the saying go? Something about catching more flies with honey. He is very controlling and forcing anything on him will not work. It will only make him dig his heels in further. I am getting pressure from people in the care industry to get an emergency guardianship. Our regular one is so close to getting done that I see no point in that and an emergency guardianship for what? He is doing OK. Yes, I would like to add more home care (currently 4 days a week for 1/2 days) but that will come in time. I get him out every Saturday. He has another friend who comes and helps him with his yard. The caregivers clean his house. They take him to doctor appointments. No, his hygiene is not the best but I have hired a foot care specialist for his feet and we are stressing the importance of taking showers. He wants people to work WITH him and not TELL him what to do. Much push from outsiders who don't know my dad like I do. I think I'm doing OK given what I know about him, others don't think I am doing the right things and frankly, I guess I'm not totally sure what my role will be as guardian and how to make him do what he's supposed to do when he won't. Feeling a lot of stress about what I am taking on here and I really wish others would leave me alone.


Posting this to Alzheimers and Dementia, as I don't see guardianship on the list anymore.......

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As an update, guardianship was finally awarded. I received my certified paperwork in the mail last week. Conservatorship is not done, however, so my hands are still tied financially. We continue to wait for the court. My dad had a melt down over the weekend when he received his guardianship paperwork in the mail. Says he doesn't agree with a lot of it (even though his attorney went through all of it). With the dementia, he probably doesn't remember. I told him to contact his attorney if he has questions. This will put even more pressure on me, marriage, and family as I feel like I am in the spotlight now by all parties involved but I will do the best I can!
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Good Luck with your Father.  Maybe eventually the court or your attorney will let you know what your responsibilities are for your Father.  But no matter what they are, it sounds like your Father is going to stop you from doing anything.  You got a tough road ahead of you and I wish you well.
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Babs, we often say that in a case like your’s with a stubborn, resistant person, it might take “an incident” to exact a solution. It seems like Dad has insisted he be in control and you follow along behind him, cleaning up and fixing the messes. The car key incident your wrote about is an example. The fact that he has become violent enough for the police to be called is concerning.

What you’ve done for your contrary father is nothing short of amazing. I’m in awe of your tenancity and determination to figure this all out and see it through for him.
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I petitioned for guardianship and conservatorship of my Mother.  However, we were able to have Mom's Court Appointed "Attorney Ad Lidem", my attorney and our family attorney meet and "work out something" so that I could retain "Durable Power of Attorney" for my Mother without us having to go through the court system.  If we had not been able to come to some agreement, I would have had to continue through the court system to legally be appointed my Mother's Guardian and Conservator. 

Like igloo572, I am questioning that what you have is a “True" guardianship and conservatorship. It sounds more like a “Modified Power of Attorney” especially since you “ended up keeping it out of court”.  Most guardianships and conservatorships must be APPROVED by the COURT SYSTEM and cannot be “something (worked) out between us and the attorneys”.

Go to your State's Judicial website and Search “Guardianship and Conservatorship” to determine what your responsibilities and duties as guardian and conservator are. I have found that some State Judicial Branches have very little information about the requirements and responsibility of guardians and conservators while other states like the one I live in have packets of the REQUIRED FORMS that you have to fill out, such as:
•Guardian with control of the ward's assets Packet.
•Guardian with a court-approved budget Packet.
•Conservator Packet C.
•Both guardian and conservator Packet G&C.

Also, the state that I live in requires that ALL guardians and conservators attend… Guardian/Conservator education course that is offered 4-5 times a month throughout the state. “The course content, approved by the_______ Supreme Court, provides detailed information for those serving as guardian or conservator. Classes are led by an Associate Public Guardian (APG) from the Office of Public Guardian, and most classes will have a volunteer attorney through the…State Bar Association present to answer general legal questions regarding guardianships and conservatorships. A certificate of completion will be awarded upon completion of the course, which will then need to be filed with the county court where the guardianship or conservatorship exists.” 

The website: expertlaw.com/library/estate_planning/guardianship.html
Discuss the following which I think you might find helpful:
•When is a Guardian Appointed
•How is a Guardian Appointed?
•What Are a Guardian's Duties?
•Court Supervision of Guardians
•How Can a Guardianship Be Ended?
•Avoiding Guardianship

 I really think that you need to research guardianship and conservatorship for your state more so that you can truly understand what your responsibilities and duties are to your Father.
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Babs75 Aug 23, 2018
Oh, yes. It's a true guardianship and conservatorship. What I meant 'by keeping it out of the courts that we didn't do a court date. Dad initially contested the guardianship and we were given a court date to have a hearing. We did a stipulated judgement instead that includes the fact that I will be guardian and conservator but with the stipulation that I cannot move him from his house (unless directed by a physican) nor can I sell his cars. These are both things that I would be allowed to do under law in my state if we had not put stipulations into the guardianship. We did not attend a hearing but our paperwork is in the hands of the judge. It had to be resubmitted 2 weeks ago with some minor changes to please the judge and still waiting for final guardianship and conservatorship papers to be completed.
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So I have another question about this. Am I expected to be 'on call' 24/7 after the guardianship goes through? I work full time and we have a rule at my house - cell phones go off at night and our main phone is downstairs. This could be a problem. Dad has never called at night and the one time he needed us 3-1/2 years ago, the police came pounding on the door in the middle of the night because the phone was ringing downstairs and we couldn't hear it.
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Ahmijoy Aug 23, 2018
Babs, revisit igloo572 response to your original post. It was an excellent one. You seem to be totally lost over what your responsibilities are or will be. Since your father is so stubborn and uncooperative, you will have to continually fight to do anything for him. Are you in contact with anyone at any agency who could explain this to you? What about one of those agencies like “A Place For Mom”?

Aren't you “on call” 24/7 already? With Dad on his own, I’m not sure the cell phones off at night rule should apply to your phone , especially since it’s already backfired once.
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Thank you everyone. The guardianship is being written so that I will be unable to move him out of his house (I think he would be better serviced in assisted living but he can well afford care to come in which we have in place) unless a doctor says he can no longer live there. We also have a stipulation that says I cannot sell his cars. This has been a big issue since he lost his license in December but I believe now, finally, he is no longer getting behind the wheel. He is not going to give up the reigns on the finances but the attorney has indicated this is just to get my foot in the door. I have power of attorney at only one of his banks (which he does not know that I 'exercised'. He would freak out. I only did it for emergencies) - the others wouldn't honor the POA without additional forms from him which I know he would never fill out. That's another reason for the conservatorship. I have 3 other siblings but they don't help. It is something I have come to accept and they are in full support of my seeking guardianship. No one contested except my dad. The caregiving service, the care manager - they are the ones pushing for emergency guardianship but there is no current emergency. I am developing a good network of people to manage him during the week (I work full time) and I think he and I are doing OK. I feel like I want to tell people to 'b*tt out' but then they are the experts and I am not. But I know my dad better than anyone. I've been with him every Saturday for 3-1/2 years (I walked away from him for nearly 30 years when he remarried). Yep, I pick my battles. People think he needs medication management. I finally developed a system for him that allows him to mark each day, once or twice for each pill depending on how many times a day he takes it, on a prepared spreadsheet I developed that makes it really easy for him to keep track of what he's taken. He likes it - I think it gives him some independence - and I can always check it if I need to. The care manager is taking him to an appointment with the geriatric psychiatrist tomorrow. We'll see how that goes.
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JoAnn29 Aug 22, 2018
Caregiving service/Caregiving mananger. Are you talking about people you hire to care for Dad, a private agency? They have nothing to do with a county/government agency? If they are private, do they think you having this kind of guardianship will make Dad do what they want? Don't think so. Even a Dementia patient has rights. The right to refuse is one of them. You cannot force your will on someone. Its elder abuse. I have to agree with Babs. What you are doing really gives you no rights. Dad is still in control.
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Babs - please try to step back and take a reality check. Whatever this agreement is, what you described is not a guardianship.

The rationale for guardianship is that they cannot make decisions in their own best interest; a guardianship gives the guardian a legal enforceable framework to do for their ward with guardian holding powers by orders from a judge and can do whatever for them in a timely manner. As guardian you make the decisions and control the wallet to pay for these decisions and report to the court regularly.

imo your in some sort of ever morphing “agreement”, it’s not a guardianship.

Your post reads that you & your dad “were able to work something out between us”, nonsense. Your not sharing responsibility & decisions.... you get bills, organize them and he pays them; you don’t have fiduciary oversight. You can’t even sign checks? Lordy a good DPOA allows for that. You think he could benefit from a medic alert or compression socks but he won’t allow these, so it doesn’t happen. It’s not a guardianship, you’re not getting any authority in this drama the way you describe it.

Elders often say their going to try to contest guardianship. Your atty should be able to prepare a position to support why he needs a guardian and why you if the reasons are valid.

Also imo you should be concerned about “people in the care industry want me to do emergency guardianship”. These get requested by APS. If one of the folks telling you this is a mandated reporter - MDs, licensed caregivers, RNs, police - they are required to contact APS regarding your dad if things are amiss. If someone is telling you about emergency guardianship, take this as a warning that they are considering a call to APS. APS isn’t called just for abuse, but also for neglect. “Neglect” has lots of latitude.....not taking required medications, hygiene, safety. If APS comes out and dad gets huffy & argumentative with APS, the police will be called and police usually will put them in for a 72 hr hold. It’s often done by a “5150”. And within that 72 hr hold, APS will get a judge to do a emergency guardianship and it will likely not be you but court appointed. Sometimes court appointed guardian is better.
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Babs75 Aug 24, 2018
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I would also like to know who these outsiders are who are pushing you.
Call the lawyers, sometimes they need a push. Things don't happen overnight. Like u, I see no emergency here. Guardianship or not, Dad has rights and even with Dementia he cannot be made to do what he doesn't want to.
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Babs75 Aug 24, 2018
So I have to wonder: how do you get someone to do something you don't want them to do? Even if I did move my dad to AL, he would walk out or get kicked out. He's not ready for memory care.
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Dad will get worse. Eventually your guardianship will be used totally. Dad is just not going to make informed decisions or even fight you on it. He is not ready to give up his independence. And I can see why he doesn't appreciate being told what he should do. So at this point pick ur battles. He will listen to a stranger or doctor before you.
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Babs75 Aug 25, 2018
I like what you said here. Baby steps with him. Many times, after I've forced a decision on him, he will call and thank me after he realizes my decision was the right one.
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I don’t think your role as legal guardian will be much different from what you are doing now. I think your dad probably feels like you do. He wishes people would just leave him alone. Who are the “others” who are criticizing what you’re doing? And why do you care what they think? It sounds like it’s all on you so turn a deaf ear to what the others are saying. If they’re family, offer to give them a job to do.

As as far as the time it’s taking, I believe this is not unusual from what I’ve heard. But if you’re working with an attorney, you may want to call his/her office for an update.
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