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Guardianship: When It's Time to Take Over a Parent's Life
Pamela D. Wilson -- Caregiving Expert, Advocate & Speaker Pamela D. Wilson -- Caregiving Expert, Advocate & Speaker
Golden, CO
Friday, January 29, 2021

How to Get Guardianship of a Parent
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Guardianship: When It's Time to Take Over a Parent's Life 

Adult children caring for parents with dementia or Alzheimer's may throw up their hands when refusals of care happen, and no one else in the family is willing to help. A diagnosis of dementia, Alzheimer's, or other chronic diseases like Parkinson's disease, multiple sclerosis, or cerebral palsy may result in advancing memory loss. A diagnosis of heart disease and diabetes can result in vascular dementia.

Parents or Spouses Diagnosed with Memory Loss Can Be a Caregiver's Worst Nightmare

While many adults diagnosed with memory loss are easy to care for—this is not the case in all situations. Memory loss combined with past substance abuse, mental illness, or certain types of dementia like frontotemporal dementia can result in physically and emotionally abusive behaviors that harm caregivers.

Spousal caregiving situations can be emotionally traumatic—when the caregiving spouse is at a loss about responding to abusive behaviors. In these situations, placing a loved one in a care community may not be an option. Fear may exist by community management about the individual harming staff or residents.

These are the behind-closed-door situations rarely discussed when caring for loved ones with memory loss. Adult children and family caregivers fear judgment from outsiders who don't understand the extent of the toll of caring for a person with dementia can take on caregivers' health and well-being.  

A Free On-Demand Webinar Shares How to Get Guardianship of a Parent or Spouse

In a free-on-demand-webinar, Wilson discusses her new online course, How to Get Guardianship of a Parent. The online course has sections about medical decision-making, how to determine if a parent needs a guardian, the process of petitioning for guardianship, and most importantly, the responsibilities of being a guardian.

For this course, the term guardianship relates to an individual who manages healthcare and related needs. Each state has different terminology for the person appointed to manage healthcare versus financial matters. In some states, there is a guardian of the person for healthcare and a guardian of property for financial issues.

Guardianship is a serious legal process because of the extensive decision-making powers granted to the guardian. However, in situations where an individual refuses care or has extreme behaviors, the guardian caregiver must have the decision-making power to direct healthcare providers. 

In the course, Wilson discusses the difference between an agent's decision-making power under a durable medical power of attorney appointments versus a court-appointed guardian.  The difference between legal capacity and medical capacity is discussed. Family guardians must be aware that the healthcare system holds contrasting opinions about the ability of a person diagnosed with memory loss to make decisions.

Family Guardians Have an Obligation to Seek Education

Becoming a family guardian is a serious responsibility discussed in the course. Guardianship appointments support education programs for guardians and include hiring services providers and a requirement to monitor care. Family guardians who are uncertain about legal responsibilities or caring for elderly parents may also be interested in Wilson's online course: Taking Care of Elderly Parents: Stay at Home and Beyond.

More information about the online course How to Get Guardianship of a Parent and other resources for caregivers are available on Wilson's website at www.PamelaDWilson.com. Interested parties may also contact Wilson by email at Inquiry_For_Pamela@PamelaDWilson.com or call 303-810-1816 for more information.

Check Out Podcast Replays of The Caring Generation® Radio Program for Caregivers and Aging Adults HERE

Pamela D. Wilson, MS, BS/BA, CG, CSA is a national caregiving expert, advocate, and speaker.  More than 20 years of experience as a direct service provider in the roles of a court-appointed guardian, power of attorney, and care manager led to programs supporting family caregivers and aging adults who want to be proactive about health, well-being, and caregiving. Wilson provides education and support for consumers and corporations interested in supporting employees who are working caregivers. She may be reached at 303-810-1816 or through her website.


News Media Interview Contact
Name: Pamela Wilson
Title: President/Owner
Group: Pamela D. Wilson, Inc.
Dateline: Golden, CO United States
Direct Phone: 303-810-1816
Cell Phone: 303-810-1816
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