Should I seek guardianship? - AgingCare.com

Should I seek guardianship?

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My mother has dementia and had an incident where she became suicidal and threatened me with a knife. The hospital placed her in a geriatric psych ward to get her behaviors under control. However I found out my POA did not cover admitted her into a level one facility. They are saying I need to petition for guardianship in order to have her fully admitted. I'm struggling with the paperwork and whether I even should become her guardian. The institution is also suspecting she has bipolar disorder so she will have a long road ahead of her. Should I apply for guardianship? If not, then why? What are the risks to me as the guardian and her as the ward?

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Medical power of attorney (healthcare proxy) may give you sufficient authority. But 1) your mother would have to agree to this and appoint you and 2) your mother would have to be competent to make the decision to appoint you.

Don't pursue guardianship without consulting an attorney who specializes in Elder Law. Make sure you feel and the lawyer agrees that it would truly benefit your mother.

Has the hospital had any success so far in getting her stabilized?
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I should have clarified, having Durable POA does not make me financially responsible. If I could no longer deal with the situation I can walk away and the State would have to deal with him. Not that I would, but it was very important that I not be made financially responsible or that I could walk away if he makes choices that remove him from my town. I really do not think that my situation is as challenging as yours, my dad still has the capacity to make decisions (Mostly:)) and his track record for really poor decisions is monstrous. So unfortunately, I have to worry about protecting my family and self while trying to help and protect my dad. I hope you find the best solution for your situation without having to spend a great deal of money.
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I'm sorry how things are going. It must be very stressful.

I would see an Elder Law attorney for a consult to find out just what your responsibilities and duties would be. And they can give you practical advice on how things work, the process, time involved, costs, etc.

I'd be very careful and informed, before taking this on. It's a huge deal and may likely bring many sleepless nights, because you would then be responsible for her care and safety and with dementia and mental illness......I'd read all of the experiences that people have posted about around here. Getting and maintaining care for someone who is resistant or noncompliant....it's heartbreaking really. I'd ask the attorney for all my options. If no family member is available, the county may be appointed.
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Find out if a Durable Mental Health POA would give you that authority. In my state Durable POA's give me all of the authority I need to do what ever is needed.

That would be my 1st step, the counsel on aging has a legal department that helped me, also going to the attorney general's website I was able to print these forms.

Good luck and God Bless You on your journey.
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I filed for guardianship for my wife last year. It was granted this past Nov. I did it because of health reasons to take care of her without interference or obstructions from others. This allows me to provide information to our PCP and vice versa.
It does include managing her finances. It puts me in the loop for any and all of her care. I can no longer be excluded by care givers or banks really.
I was worried that the county or state would step in and take her from me and lock me out. That stuff has happened here in recent years.
The court found that I am truly committed to her care and supports me in my endeavors.
The only agencies I am concerned with now is the Feds. They have their own maze of paperwork to deal with but only the IRS concerns me right now. However I don't really see any real problems with them. Medicare might be another issue but I will work it out.
I did seek assistance from a certified elder care attorney and that eased the process until I had to complete my first annual report. But I made it thru the accounting review with flying colors.
If you can find an elder care attorney for assistance I would do that.
Best of luck on whatever you decide.
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I think you are right to be cautious.

The cynic in me observes that if you petition for guardianship you will save her care team quite a lot of money (although this should be payable from your mother's own funds, assuming she has any) and administrative work.

Would it benefit your mother to have you leading her care as her guardian?
Is it realistic for you to take on this quite onerous responsibility?
What impact would it have on you and your family?

At the very least, why not go back to the hospital ?social worker (or whoever you're working with) and find out what the options are. I'd also take independent legal advice, if possible.
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