Incapacity is something that most of us never want to think about and hope will never become an issue for ourselves or our loved ones. If it appears that your parent or loved one is exhibiting signs of decline in their mental sharpness, it would be a good idea to start considering how to make sure they can take care of themselves. Common signs of possible incapacity are disorientation and memory loss. If you have noticed either of these signs or anything else that may concern you, discuss your situation with our Ashland elder law attorney so you can start a plan.
How to Start the Conversation With Your Parent or Loved One
Before you can start incapacity planning, you need to discuss the situation and the options with your parent or loved one. This will likely be an uncomfortable discussion so it is best to make sure all family members involved are on the same page as to how this issue will be approached. Having a united front is key, so resolving any potential disagreements or miscommunications between family members before starting the conversation is a great idea. You can reduce the risk of your parent or loved one becoming defensive when you begin the discussion about their incapacity and how you can help them.
Your Loved One Should Stay Involved as Much as Possible
Incapacity planning will go much more smoothly if your loved one is allowed to participate, at least to some degree, in the decisions that are made on their behalf. Once you have discussed the basic issues with your loved one, then it is time to seek the advice of our Ashland elder law attorney regarding which issues need to be addressed in the incapacity plan.
While it is important to put in place mechanisms that will keep your loved one safe during a period of incapacity, it is equally important to allow them to maintain their autonomy to the largest degree possible. There are various techniques for accomplishing this. Which one will work in your situation depends on the particular issues you are facing. In some cases, a formal guardianship may be required. However, the likelihood of an individual losing their independence entirely is very high and that is something that most of our elderly loved ones are concerned with.
Guardianship or Conservatorship as the Last Resort
As Ashland elder law attorney will often recommend, guardianship or conservatorship of adults should be used as a last resort if at all possible. Guardianship or conservatorship should never be considered simply because you are in disagreement with your parent about one of their decisions or because they may have received a particular medical diagnosis.
Help your Loved One Feel in Control of Their Lives
In most cases, it is important to go beyond letting your loved one be involved in decisions. Most families are concerned about making their parents or loved ones feel like they still maintain some control over their lives. Instead, the goal is to make them feel more like they are simply receiving the assistance they need at the time they need it most.
The key is managing elder law issues without making your loved one feel like everyone is taking over. There are two strategies for handling this situation. If they are still mentally competent at the time you begin your incapacity planning, then they should be involved in every aspect. That means it is important to start planning as soon as possible. On the other hand, if their mental capacity is already fading, you can still find ways to let them exercise their control in as many ways as possible, no matter how small.
How to Handle an Uncooperative Parent
For many families, their elderly loved ones are unwilling to discuss their affairs or give up their control to anyone at all. The issue then becomes whether they are still considered legally competent. If they are, then their involvement and consent is required. However, once they have been deemed incapacitated, you may need court involvement to put the entire incapacity plan in place. Let our Ashland elder law attorney assist you in determining which route you need to take.
Ashland Elder Law Attorney can Provide Support and Assistance
Ashland elder law attorneys are uniquely equipped to handle the common issues faced by seniors these days. An elder law attorney can help you plan for nursing home care and create an estate plan. Ashland elder law attorneys have the experience and training in the important legal issues that affect the elderly so they understand their clients’ needs and can meet them head-on.
Join us for a free seminar today! If you have questions regarding difficult elder law issues or any other elder law matters, please contact the experienced attorneys at The Potter Law Firm for a consultation. You can contact us either online or by calling us at (606) 324-5516 (Ashland, KY) or at (859) 372-6655 (Florence, KY), or for individuals in North Carolina at (704) 944-3245 (Charlotte, NC or Huntersville, NC).
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