Can I legally make my dad go to a doctor if I have medical guardianship? -

Can I legally make my dad go to a doctor if I have medical guardianship?


I have medical guardianship of my father who is in a nursing home following a stroke.He refuses to go to a doctor. Can I legally make him go? My father has always been a difficult, stubborn person. It is believed he has a mental illness, however he would not see a mental health professional so it could be confirmed. He is a very intelligent person and knows his rights. That being said, he does not take care of himself and his living conditions have been deplorable for the last 30 years or so. He lives in roach infested conditions and eats food that has spoiled and rarely bathes etc... He has a history of not following up with doctor appointments and cancelling them frequently. Upon his stroke 4 months ago, he was seen by numerous medical specialties who all requested a mental evaluation be done due to his demeanor. He was deemed incompetent to make medical decisions and it was suggested I file for guardianship. I got medical guardianship of him a month after his stroke. He is in a nursing home now. Per his physical therapists, if he put forth actual effort, he would be well enough to live in an assisted living situation, however he lays in bed all the time and is inconsistent in his efforts at therapy. He has several doctor appointments coming up and he has said he will not go. I have already rescheduled some of them and I know he will refuse to go when the day arrives. Do I have any legal right to somehow force him to go? He would be transported via an ambulance since he cannot walk well, so he would NOT be riding with me. I can't think it would be legal to strap him down to make him go, but on the other hand, I am now responsible for his medical needs. I don't want to get into trouble for not ensuring he sees the appropriate doctors. What can I do?

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If in fact you have legal guardianship not only can you make him see a doctor, more than likely you are required to. With guardianship a yearly report submitted to a judge is required. Often a judge will look to ensure the protected person is being seen on a regular basis - which could be just yearly if in good health - by both a dentist and a doctor.
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If you have guardianship that was awarded by a court ( as opposed to poa or heath care proxy), you almost certainly DO have the right to force his medical care. Can you contact the court? What do the guardianship papers state?

If he's in the nursing home now, work with the social worker to find a long term placement for him.
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Is there a Dr. on staff at the nursing home? Or does your dad need to see a specialist?

How would you force him to go? As you said, you can't strap him down and force him to go nor can you throw him over your shoulder and force him to go.

Do you have papers from when you obtained guardianship? Do they shed any light on getting your dad to the Dr.?

I've been seeing your question and noticing that it hasn't been answered. I was hoping someone who knew about guardianship would weigh in as I've never been in your situation. I'm hoping that answering your question will bump you up where more people will see it.
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