In the not too distant future, I may have to petition the court to have my parents declared imcompetant and be appointed their guardian. Mom is 89 and has dementia, leaky heart valve, osteoporosis, undiagnosed depression. Dad is 84 and has several signs but is undiagnosed, has hbp, paranoia. Says no to home aides, ALF's, etc. My elder law attorney says the guardianship process is long, very messy and expensive and would be a last resort. I have no siblings, so this is all on me. Would love to hear from anyone here who has gone (or is going) through this legal process. Any thoughts or insights are appreciated. Thank you.

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You are so right about the learning:) and the need to laugh at ourselves as we figure this stuff out.

The first week with MIL at her home after her release from the geriatric psych unit was all about learning. One of the mornings while I was on the phone with my wonderfully supportive SIL, our MIL kept putting an empty coffee can in the microwave. I would stop her and go back to talking. Eventually MIL got the microwave turned on with the can inside. My SIL said quite emphatically "UNPLUG THE MICROWAVE"

Sure it's always easier to see the right thing to do when you aren't there in the midst of it, eh?

Idnorthjersey, my FIL would never have agreed to a nursing home. Fortunately anyone talking to him would easily see he wasn't capable of making good decisions anymore.
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this actually gave me a laugh at the end. How we learn, right?!
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Thank you very much for sharing your experience. The information is greatly appreciated. Glad to hear it went relatively smoothly. My mother will probably be much more agreeable. My father is quite unreasonable and in many instances, downright impossible. When the time comes, it will certainly be interesting to say the least. Thanks again,
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We went through the process and it was pretty simple, only because no one fought it. Your parents will have an attorney to represent them and if they want to fight it, that is their attorney's job. We had all our ducks in a row. Doctor's assessments, geriatric psych evaluations, and the agreement of their siblings and the other children - even if you don't have any siblings, the court will want your parents' siblings to "sign off" on you being the guardian.

We were up front with his parents and kept them informed throughout the process. My FIL was having a bad day when their attorney met with them so the attorney felt comfortable recommending his guardianship. My MIL had an outstanding "showtiming" dementia day. She was tickled to have a guest and readily agreed to the guardianship. Which relieved her attorney -as he couldn't see any sign of dementia- which he duly reported to the judge.

The judge went over their finances and instructed my husband to sell his parents home.

All the expenses of the guardianship were paid for from their funds. We had to pay for the insurance bond - the amount of the bond is set by the judge and depends upon the amount of the assets.

When my husband went over the need for the guardianship with his parents he spoke calmly and in a matter of fact manner. He presented it as a final decision that had been made by him. I wish I could remember his exact words, he was reassuring and let them know that "this was where he and they were now in their lives".

Much easier for him than telling his mom that we were moving her to a different state had been months before. He had been so worried about how upset she was going to be that he had delayed and delayed in telling her. Finally when the moment arrived, he went into so much detail that at times you could see he had lost her attention. We call it the "Groundhog Day" dementia experience, after the Bill Murray movie.

The next day she had no memory of the talk and he had to tell her all over again.

Day 3, once again she had no idea and he told her all over again, but abbreviated it this time.

Day 4, he barely looked over his newspaper at breakfast and told her she was moving to Texas the next day.
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