If you are an adult child of an elderly parent who appears to be suffering a cognitive decline, it can be devastating. It also places you in a precarious position regarding any decisions made about your loved one’s future.
One option to consider is seeking guardianship over them through the Florida civil courts. However, this is a major decision that should not be made in haste. As this is the most restrictive of your options, below are some elements to consider when debating whether guardianship is the best way to protect your aging parent(s).
What the law states
A diagnosis of decreased cognitive functioning does not solely mean that an individual is incapacitated. They may still be capable of meaningful participation in their own lives, including making decisions about their care and activities of daily life (ADLs)
With Alzheimer’s being a condition with a spectrum of decline, it is often recommended to involve your loved one as early as possible in the process. That allows them to voice preferences for future care while they still can share their opinions.
When elderly parents are resistant
This is a common reaction – and for good reason. Dementia from Alzheimer’s and other neurodegenerative conditions is irreversible. It is a devastating diagnosis to face. Your parent may need the time to accept their fate before deciding to make the best of things and be a willing participant in planning for what lies ahead.
Since everyone has the right to self-determination until the courts rule otherwise, getting your loved one a cognitive assessment by a qualified professional could help clarify your legal options involving guardianship.