I need guardianship for my mother, but can’t afford it. Any suggestions?

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I need guardianship for my mother, who has Alzheimer’s. I am disabled, our only income is SSDI, no assets, retainer fee is $4000 the state of Florida. Does it help with family member to be a Guardian?

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Thanks so much ,will check into it, the lawyer I did speak to did mention that she can tell what we can do and we may be able to do some paperwork
she charges $300 an hour which comes out of the retainer of $4,000. Still going to talk the others ,thanks again
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faith05, I'm sorry those agencies were not able to help you. Maybe you'll find that you don't need guardianship afterall to ensure your mom's well-being, but since your non-helping siblings will always be wild-cards and you won't know when they'll decide to play their hands, I think its reasonable that you're looking into guardianship. And maybe you'll be able to find some affordable legal assistance. In another string on this forum here's part of what PrairieLake offered in reply to DadsSon's question:

"Then when this guardianship is approved, my brother has to take a 1/2 day class about his responsibilities. Since I live in another state, and I would have to be there quickly to make decisions, I am not able to do it. We met with an elder law attorney, who charges $295 per hour for one hour. He explained everything, and then is helping us with the initial paperwork. The final cost will be about $700, which might be able to be paid out of Dad’s SS check if we need to spend down to get under 2000$ for Medicaid. If not, that is money well spent because we did not know how to do anything, and Dad had us all divided and intimidated."

I suspect PraireLake and her siblings are doing some of the legal legwork themselves to get the total cost down to $700 and you might be able to do the same. You could contact the guardianship court in Broward County to see if they think your mom will be better served if you become her guardian and they might also have tips or even offer assistance for getting guardianship. I googled "broward county guardianship" and the results included Broward County Guardianship Association and the 17th Judicial Circuit Court of Florida, either of which might have information and advice helpful to you. Good luck and best wishes.
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The Rural Legal Services does not provide services in Broward County Florida and the Florida Dept. of Elder Affairs does not handle guardianships.
The Florida Dept. of Elder Affairs gave me info referrals to two Attorneys which called and I am waiting for their reply.
I already talked to other attorneys and they all said that the retainer fee is $4,000. The cost would probably be about the same, but maybe they can provide service for less.
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faith05, have you been able to get any help from the Florida Dept. of Elder Affairs or Rural Legal Services in answering your question of whether guardianship of your mother will become necessary or helpful as her dementia progresses?

Like your mom, my dad often doesn't know who I am, often he thinks I'm his dad or his brother. And daycare was also good for my dad as well as for me and my family I know it's hard to "not give up and stay positive," but it sounds like you're doing pretty well in that regard. Best wishes.
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I will check out that website, I appreciate your help
It ‘s been a long journey and have learned a lot helping my mother she don’t realize that she was forgetful that’s why she would not sign anything that’s part of the disease.
There were times she looked scared and worried. I toke her everywhere with me so she would not be home alone , sometimes she would call me her sister and I her remind her that I am her daughter.
She is in the advanced stages of Alzheimer’s now , she still can walk but needs a lot of assistance I have aides that help her now.
She still knows me and tells others that I am her daughter.

There were times I didn’t know how I was going to continue taking care of her I just starting asking and looking for help.
That is what caregivers must do “if you need help ask and find out everything you can”.

Two of siblings do help me financially but the rest don’t do much of anything and don’t want any responsibility. When I asked them they just wanted her to be put in nursing home.

finally I got my mother approved for adult daycare,she likes going and is doing well there. Now I have a some time to do what I need to do for myself before she comes home.
I have Cerebral Palsy, I have learned from my own challenges “not to give up and stay positive “ . Thanks again.
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faith05, It's too bad your mother wouldn't sign the POA. Since she was diagnosed more than 10 years ago, it's likely too late for that option. But do check with Florida's Department of Elder Affairs, as they may have some good advice and know of resources to help you provide your mother's care. Also, on another website, the Florida Rural Legal Services, Inc. says it helps individuals with adult guardianship. Here's it's web address: https://www.frls.org/services/elder-law/

It's good that you're already on your mother's bank account so that you can handle her finances. It's too bad your siblings aren't helping, but it's good if they at least don't interfere with the care you provide your mother. I was forced into becoming my dad's guardian because some of my siblings wanted cheaper rather than better care for him. It's hard for me to assess whether guardianship will be much help to you. I do think it's important for you to contact the Department of Elder Affairs and the Rural Legal Services, Inc. to get better advice.

Best wishes and kudos to you for taking care of your mother for so long.
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Thanks bicycler, I was already on my mother account  so I can handle her finances before she became sick.    I Called Free legal Aid they said they don’t handle Gardianships
I tried to get my mother to sign a POA three times when she was still able to understand and sign (with no help from my other siblings ) but she would not she didn’t know now that she was forgetting things and that she had dementia , it toke a lot to get her to go the doctor.
I kept trying finally back in 2006 or 2007 she had testing done.
Over time I became and still am her full time Caregiver. She can’t sign anything now
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faith05, if you already have your mother's financial and health care durable power of attorney (DPOA) signed and notarized, then you probably won't need to be her guardian and/or conservator. If she hasn't already signed such DPOA(s), even though she has Alzheimer's, her dementia may not have progressed to the point that she is legally incompetent to sign such documents and having her do that could be much simpler and may cost nothing or almost nothing.

Given your mom's low income and no assets, you may be able to get free legal assistance. Here's a website to get you started: www.flcourts.org/resources-and-services/family-courts/family-law-self-help-information/legal-aid.stml

You should also contact Florida's Department of Elder Affairs to get information and advice -- start at its website: http://elderaffairs.state.fl.us/doea/arc.php
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Bumping to the top hoping a member has had this experience.
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