Watching an elderly parent become increasingly frail can be difficult. It can be even harder when your parent is not safe living on his or her own any longer. If you have talked to your parent about moving into a senior living community and have met with resistance, you might wonder how you can force him or her to move. The professionals at Elder Care Direction can offer you some guidance about how to force a parent who is no longer safe on his or her own to move into senior housing. In order to do so, you will need to become your elderly parent’s guardian.
How guardianship works
In order to seek guardianship of your elderly parent, you will have to file a petition with the court. Adult protective services may also file a petition to have a guardian appointed. You can only obtain guardianship over your elderly loved one if he or she is found to be incapacitated and unable to care for himself or herself or to make sound decisions. If your elderly parent is still competent, you will not be able to force him or her to move into a senior living facility.
Judges respect independence. If your elderly parent has cognitive impairments but still has moments in which he or she is lucid and is able to state that he or she wants to stay at home, judges will likely allow them to do so. If there is a guardian appointed, the judge may then order the guardian to establish systems to facilitate the elderly person’s staying at home such as in-home care.
Powers of attorney explained
There is a common misconception that having a medical or financial power of attorney over an elder grants a person the authority to force the elder to move. However, thee documents do not grant that type of authority. They instead only give you the ability to make certain decisions for health care, financial or legal matters.
The process of obtaining guardianship
It is expensive to try to get guardianship over another person and can also take a significant amount of time. You may also not receive the outcome that you want. After a guardianship petition is filed in the probate court, many different people might be involved, including the judge, lawyers, adult protective services staff, psychologists and others. A guardian ad litem will be appointed by the court to represent your loved one. If you are the petitioner, you will have to pay the filing fee and the court costs, including the guardian ad litem’s fees and associated expenses.
Balancing independence and safety
It is never easy to get an elderly parent to move from his or her home. It is best for you to talk about the subject long before a move is needed. This can help your family to understand how your parent wants to live out his or her golden years so that you can plan appropriately. For help with talking to your loved one about how he or she might like to live in the future, contact Elder Care Direction today to schedule your consultation.