When is Full Guardianship Appropriate

Full guardianship may be appropriate in instances when:

  • An individual is unable to make or communicate responsible decisions for him or herself;
  • A full guardian is absolutely necessary to ensure that continuing care is provided for this individual; and
  • Friends, staff, and family members involved in the decision have researched and ruled out less restrictive options.

A Daughter's Story -

Full guardianship is appropriate when it is necessary to ensure that continuing care is provided to an individual who cannot make decisions for him or herself.

"My mother, Dorothy, is a 76 year-old widow who lives in a nursing home. Her diagnoses include Alzheimer's disease and an anxiety disorder. She needs help with bathing, grocery shopping, and preparing meals, and is easily confused, and can't remember recent or remote events. She is unable to communicate her needs or respond to questions. When she does speak, she is incoherent. It is very difficult for others to make sense of what she is saying.

My mother owes the nursing home $40,000 and may not be able to continue staying there. I am very worried for her and want to make sure someone is looking out for her best interests now that she is no longer able to make decisions for herself."

Decision: Full Guardianship

"Since my mother no longer has the capacity to plan for her future or to select a power of attorney to make decisions on her behalf, full guardianship was the best and only option for her. I petitioned the court to become my mother's full guardian so I can make medical decisions for her, pay her bills, and find a place for her to live where her needs will be met."

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