Ch. 8 - Q38: How do I know if a family member or friend needs a guardian or conservator?

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Ch. 8 - Q38: How do I know if a family member or friend needs a guardian or conservator?

A38:       The decision to seek guardianship or conservatorship is a complicated and hard decision to make for most people.  If you have concerns about a loved one’s ability to communicate and to make decisions, it will be helpful for you to learn about guardianship and its alternatives.  Community resources such as senior centers, aging offices, developmental disabilities resources, physicians, geriatric assessment professionals, and lawyers can all be of assistance.  Please see our list of Agency References for more information.

Some additional considerations when deciding if guardianship is right for your family member or friend include your loved one’s individual strengths, challenges, and best interests for that person. Additionally, you should think about how seeking a guardianship or conservatorship for your loved one might alter your relationship with that person and with the rest of the family. Some people convene a family meeting with or without the assistance of a trusted friend or mediator to talk about the loved one’s situation and what next steps might be helpful.