Key Points: cont'd

  1. Middle ground alternatives are legal documents or courses of action that allow adults with disabilities to retain some, but not all of the decision-making authority in their lives.  They require legal documentation and/or court involvement.
  2. Middle ground alternatives include legal documents, such as a power of attorney or an advance directive, or any form of limited guardianship, such as guardianship limited to medical or placement decisions.
  3. Full guardianship and conservatorship are considered two of the most restrictive options because each approach significantly restricts a person’s rights and freedoms.  Both appointments are generally for an indefinite period of time.
  4. Full guardianship or conservatorship is not intended for people who occasionally make bad decisions or use poor judgment. Full guardianship or conservatorship is intended for people whose difficulty in receiving and processing information and making and carrying out decisions creates serious risks to their health, safety, and financial well-being.
  5. It is extremely important to get the facts before making a decision about whether guardianship is right for the person you are concerned about.   Since full guardianship strips an individual of many of their basic decision-making rights, it is important to identify what a person can do and consider other alternatives first.

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