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Quite a lot. It might be easier for forum members to answer your question helpfully if you describe the context in which it has arisen for you.

Broadly:

Power of Attorney is given by one person (the principal) to another person (the attorney). It authorises the attorney to act for the principal. Essentially, if I give you Power of Attorney I am giving you permission to act for me as though you actually were me, as my deputy. POA can be temporary and specific - say, for example, I plan to be abroad for six months and you have very kindly agreed to take care of my house. I can give you POA to deal with tradesmen, pay bills, decide who's allowed in, etc.; and I can also specify that you may not sell the house or conduct your own business from it.
There is also Durable Power of Attorney, which is the sort most applicable to questions of managing life in older age. A DPOA continues after the Principal has lost legal capacity, so that the Attorney can continue to act for the Principal even if the Principal no longer understands what is happening. Once a person has lost capacity, he cannot revoke a DPOA or create a new one; so it is vitally important to give this authority only to someone you have complete confidence in.

Guardianship is authority awarded by courts to a person the court deems fit to look after the best interests of someone who is unable to make decisions for him- or herself. Family members, friends or neighbours can apply to the courts for guardianship of a loved one, and the court will approve the application if that seems to be best for the vulnerable person. But the court may decide that the applicants are not a good choice of guardian, and choose instead to award guardianship to someone else entirely - such as a lawyer, who will then be paid for the work out of the vulnerable person's funds or, if there aren't any, the public purse.

If your loved one has already lost capacity, it is too late for him or her to create a Power of Attorney. In that case, depending on what you need to do for the person and whether or not you need formal legal powers to do it, you would have to apply for guardianship.
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This is a great question
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